Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/65317
Title: Types of control in acupuncture clinical trials might affect the conclusion of the trials : a review of acupuncture on pain management
Authors: Chen, H
Ning, Z
Lam, WL
Lam, WY
Zhao, YK
Yeung, JWF 
Ng, BFL
Ziea, ETC
Lao, L
Keywords: Acupuncture
Control
Pain
Randomized controlled trial
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies, 2016, v. 9, no. 5, p. 227-233 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies 
Abstract: Analgesic effects of acupuncture have been extensively studied in various clinical trials. However, the conclusion remains controversial, even among large scale randomized controlled trials. This study aimed to evaluate the association between the conclusion of the trials and the types of control used in those trials via systematic review. Published randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for pain were retrieved from electronic databases (Medline, AMED, Cochrane libraries, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Clinicaltrials.gov, and CAB Abstracts) using a prespecified search strategy. One hundred and thirty-nine studies leading to 166 pairs of acupuncture-control treatment effect comparisons (26 studies comprised of 53 intervention-control pairs) were analyzed based on the proportion of positive conclusions in different control designs. We found that treatment effects of acupuncture compared with nontreatment controls had the highest tendency to yield a positive conclusion (84.3%), compared with nonneedle-insertion controls (53.3%). Whereas with needle-insertion controls, the lowest tendency of positive conclusions was observed (37.8%). Consistently, in studies reporting successful blinding, a higher tendency of positive findings on the treatment effect of acupuncture was found in the noninsertion sham controls compared with that in the insertion sham controls. We conclude that the type of control is likely to affect the conclusion in acupuncture analgesic trials. Appropriate control should be chosen according to the aims of studies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/65317
ISSN: 2005-2901
EISSN: 2093-8152
DOI: 10.1016/j.jams.2016.08.001
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