Systematic reviews of complementary therapies - an annotated bibliography. Part 1: Acupuncture

Linde, Klaus; Vickers, Andrew; Hondras, Maria; Ter Riet, Gerben; Thormählen, Johannes; Berman, Brian; Melchart, Dieter
January 2001
BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine;2001, Vol. 1, p3
Academic Journal
Background: Complementary therapies are widespread but controversial. We aim to provide a comprehensive collection and a summary of systematic reviews of clinical trials in three major complementary therapies (acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy). This article is dealing with acupuncture. Potentially relevant reviews were searched through the register of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field, the Cochrane Library, Medline, and bibliographies of articles and books. To be included articles had to review prospective clinical trials of acupuncture; had to describe review methods explicitly; had to be published; and had to focus on treatment effects. Information on conditions, interventions, methods, results and conclusions was extracted using a pretested form and summarized descriptively. Results: From a total of 48 potentially relevant reviews preselected in a screeening process 39 met the inclusion criteria. 22 were on various pain syndromes or rheumatic diseases. Other topics addressed by more than one review were addiction, nausea, asthma and tinnitus. Almost unanimously the reviews state that acupuncture trials include too few patients. Often included trials are heterogeneous regarding patients, interventions and outcome measures, are considered to have insufficient quality and contradictory results. Convincing evidence is available only for postoperative nausea, for which acupuncture appears to be of benefit, and smoking cessation, where acupuncture is no more effective than sham acupuncture. Conclusions: A large number of systematic reviews on acupuncture exists. What is most obvious from these reviews is the need for (the funding of) well-designed, larger clinical trials.


Related Articles

  • Acupuncture for rheumatic conditions: an overview of systematic reviews. Ernst, Edzard; Myeong Soo Lee // Rheumatology;Oct2010, Vol. 49 Issue 10, p1957 

    Objective. Several systematic reviews (SRs) have assessed the effectiveness of acupuncture for rheumatic conditions, often with contradictory conclusions. Our aim is to provide a critical evaluation and summary of these data.

  • Acupuncture for the treatment of cancer pain: a systematic review. Response to authors. Paley, Carole // Supportive Care in Cancer;May2013, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p1217 

    A letter to the editor is presented in response to the article "Acupuncture for the treatment of cancer pain: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials," by T.-Y. Choi and colleagues in the 2012 issue.

  • HOW GOOD ARE SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS OF ACUPUNCTURE?  // Bandolier;Sep2006, Vol. 13 Issue 9, p7 

    The article presents the study conducted by the journal which assesses 34 systematic reviews about acupuncture. The reviews examined the use of acupuncture for treating painful conditions, stroke, nausea and vomiting, depression and other conditions. Seventeen reviews concluded that there was...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Cochrane Systematic Reviews in Acupuncture: Methodological Diversity in Database Searching. Sood, Amit; Sood, Richa; Bauer, Brent A.; Ebbert, Jon O. // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Aug2005, Vol. 11 Issue 4, p719 

    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...

  • 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...


Read the Article


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

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics