Cochrane Systematic Reviews in Acupuncture: Methodological Diversity in Database Searching

Sood, Amit; Sood, Richa; Bauer, Brent A.; Ebbert, Jon O.
August 2005
Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Aug2005, Vol. 11 Issue 4, p719
Academic Journal
Background: Since the early 1970s, the efficacy of acupuncture for treating clinical conditions has been evaluated in several hundred randomized trials. Results from these trials have been synthesized in systematic reviews. A well-designed systematic review provides the highest level of evidence for establishing the efficacy of a clinical intervention. Objectives: The present study assesses the source of original literature contributing to Cochrane reviews on acupuncture. Databases searched to retrieve original studies are evaluated. The distribution of controlled trials in acupuncture across different topic areas and journals, the ability of the reviews to provide conclusive results, and the proportion of original studies indexed with MEDLINE® are evaluated. Methods: Systematic reviews on acupuncture were extracted from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The key search term used was "acupuncture." When more than one systematic review was retrieved on the same topic, the most recent review was included. Indexing of individual clinical trials with MEDLINE was searched using the in PubMed. Results: A total of 94 papers were retrieved from the Cochrane database, of which 10 were included in the analysis. The most common subject areas were related to chronic pain. Considerable heterogeneity was observed in the number of databases searched (median 5, range 3–12). A total of 69% (74/108) papers were indexed with PubMed. Only 13% (14/108) of the papers were published in the primary acupuncture journals. Conclusive statements about the efficacy of acupuncture were made in only 2 of the 10 systematic reviews. Conclusions: Considerable methodological diversity exists in the comprehensiveness of database searches for Cochrane systematic reviews on acupuncture. This diversity makes the reviews prone to bias and adds another layer of complexity in interpreting the acupuncture literature.


Related Articles

  • Commentary on Sood et al.: "Cochrane Systematic Reviews in Acupuncture: Methodological Diversity in Database Searching". Lao, Lixing // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Aug2005, Vol. 11 Issue 4, p723 

    Comments on the article "Cochrane Systematic Reviews in Acupuncture: Methodological Diversity in Database Searching," by Amit Sood which assesses the source of original literature contributing to Cochrane reviews on acupuncture. Solution for enhancing the language comprehensiveness of Cochrane...

  • Should Journals Devote Space to Trials with No Results? Ezzo, Jeanette // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Oct2003, Vol. 9 Issue 5, p611 

    The article focuses on editor's comments on the German chronic low-back pain acupuncture trial that appeared in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, with no discussion of result of the trial. This type of article is first of its kind, for this journal...

  • Clinical Research on Acupuncture:Part 2.Controlled Clinical Trials,an Overview of Their Methods. Birch, Stephen // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Jun2004, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p481 

    There is almost universal agreement that the quality of clinical trials of acupuncture is poor. There is an urgent need to improve their quality. The author develops here a list of 45 criteria important in the design, implementation, and writing up of controlled clinical acupuncture wials. This...

  • Sham Acupuncture May Be as Efficacious as True Acupuncture: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials. Moffet, Howard H. // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Mar2009, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p213 

    Objective: This study sought to determine whether sham acupuncture is as efficacious as true acupuncture, as defined by traditional acupuncture theories. Methods: A systematic review was conducted of clinical trials that used sham acupuncture controls with needle insertion at wrong points...

  • Registration Quality Assessment of Acupuncture Clinical Trials. Gu, Jing; Zhao, Ye; Wang, Xiaogang; Jiang, Jianjun; Tian, Jinhui; Yang, Kehu // PLoS ONE;Mar2013, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p1 

    Background: Registration can help with transparency of acupuncture clinical trials (ACTs) by making protocol information and results available to the public. Recently, the number of registered ACTs has increased greatly, but only a few researchers have focused on the quality of ACTs...

  • AcuTrials®: an online database of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews of acupuncture. Marx, Benjamin L.; Milley, Ryan; Cantor, Dara G.; Ackerman, Deborah L.; Hammerschlag, Richard // BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p181 

    Background: The growing quantity of Complementary and Alternative Medicine literature requires databases enabled with increasingly powerful search capabilities. To address this need in the area of acupuncture research, a bibliographic database of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and...

  • P02.120. Qualitative systemic review on Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatments in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Langhorst, J.; Lauche, R.; Vorpeil, H.; Baecker, M.; Klose, P.; Dobos, G. // BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine;2012, Vol. 12 Issue Suppl 1, p1 

    An abstract of the article "Qualitative systemic review on Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatments in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases," by J. Langhorst, R. Lauche, H. Vorpeil, M. Baecker, P. Klose, and G. Dobos is presented.

  • A systematic review of the quality of homeopathic clinical trials. Jonas, Wayne B.; Anderson, Rachel L.; Crawford, Cindy C.; Lyons, John S. // BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine;2001, Vol. 1, p12 

    Background: While a number of reviews of homeopathic clinical trials have been done, all have used methods dependent on allopathic diagnostic classifications foreign to homeopathic practice. In addition, no review has used established and validated quality criteria allowing direct comparison of...

  • Acupuncture as Adjunct Therapy for In Vitro Fertilization. Fiorani, Michael // American Acupuncturist;Fall2014, Vol. 68, p14 

    Objective: To review the mechanisms and published clinical trials supporting the use of acupuncture as an adjunct therapy for in vitro fertilization (IVF) Design: A search of MEDLINE, PubMed, and publicly available research data was performed to select articles for inclusion. Search results were...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics