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An Overview of Bee Venom Acupuncture in the Treatment of Arthritis  [PDF]
Jae-Dong Lee,Hi-Joon Park,Younbyoung Chae,Sabina Lim
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2005, DOI: 10.1093/ecam/neh070
Abstract: Bee venom acupuncture (BVA), as a kind of herbal acupuncture, exerts not only pharmacological actions from the bioactive compounds isolated from bee venom but also a mechanical function from acupuncture stimulation. BVA is growing in popularity, especially in Korea, and is used primarily for pain relief in many kinds of diseases. We aimed to summarize and evaluate the available evidence of BVA for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Computerized literature searches for experimental studies and clinical trials of BVA for arthritis were performed on the databases from PUBMED, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library. In addition, two leading Korean journals (The Journal of Korean Society for Acupuncture and Moxibustion and The Journal of Korean Oriental Medicine) were searched for relevant studies. The search revealed 67 studies, 15 of which met our criteria. The anti-inflammation and analgesic actions of BVA were proved in various kinds of animal arthritic models. Two randomized controlled trials and three uncontrolled clinical trials showed that BVA was effective in the treatment of arthritis. It is highly likely that the effectiveness of BVA for arthritis is a promising area of future research. However, there is limited evidence demonstrating the efficacy of BVA in arthritis. Rigorous trials with large sample size and adequate design are needed to define the role of BVA for these indications. In addition, studies on the optimal dosage and concentration of BVA are recommended for future trials.
The effectiveness of acupuncture research across components of the trauma spectrum response (tsr): a systematic review of reviews
Lee Courtney,Crawford Cindy,Wallerstedt Dawn,York Alexandra
Systematic Reviews , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/2046-4053-1-46
Abstract: Background Co-morbid symptoms (for example, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and fatigue) are particularly common in military fighters returning from the current conflicts, who have experienced physical and/or psychological trauma. These overlapping conditions cut across the boundaries of mind, brain and body, resulting in a common symptomatic and functional spectrum of physical, cognitive, psychological and behavioral effects referred to as the ‘Trauma Spectrum Response’ (TSR). While acupuncture has been shown to treat some of these components effectively, the current literature is often difficult to interpret, inconsistent or of variable quality. Thus, to gauge comprehensively the effectiveness of acupuncture across TSR components, a systematic review of reviews was conducted using the Samueli Institute’s Rapid Evidence Assessment of the Literature (REAL ) methodology. Methods PubMed/MEDLINE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycInfo were searched from inception to September 2011 for systematic reviews/meta-analyses. Quality assessment was rigorously performed using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN 50) checklist and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. Adherence to the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials in Acupuncture (STRICTA) criteria was also assessed. Results Of the 1,480 citations identified by our searches, 52 systematic reviews/meta-analyses, all high quality except for one, met inclusion criteria for each TSR component except post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sexual function. The majority of reviews addressed most STRICTA components, but did not describe safety. Conclusions Based on the results of our review, acupuncture appears to be effective for treating headaches and, although more research is needed, seems to be a promising treatment option for anxiety, sleep disturbances, depression and chronic pain. It does not, however, demonstrate any substantial treatment benefit for substance abuse. Because there were no reviews on PTSD or sexual function that met our pre-defined inclusion criteria, we cannot comment on acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating these conditions. More quality data are also needed to determine whether acupuncture is appropriate for treating fatigue or cognitive difficulties. Further, while acupuncture has been shown to be generally safe, safety was not described in the majority of studies, making it difficult to provide any strong recommendations. Future research should add
How large are the nonspecific effects of acupuncture? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Klaus Linde, Karin Niemann, Antonius Schneider, Karin Meissner
BMC Medicine , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-8-75
Abstract: MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials and reference lists were searched up to April 2010 to identify randomized trials of acupuncture for any condition, including both sham and no acupuncture control groups. Data were extracted by one reviewer and verified by a second. Pooled standardized mean differences were calculated using a random effects model with the inverse variance method.Thirty-seven trials with a total of 5754 patients met the inclusion criteria. The included studies varied strongly regarding patients, interventions, outcome measures, methodological quality and effect sizes reported. Among the 32 trials reporting a continuous outcome measure, the random effects standardized mean difference between sham acupuncture and no acupuncture groups was -0.45 (95% confidence interval, -0.57, -0.34; I2 = 54%; Egger's test for funnel plot asymmetry, P = 0.25). Trials with larger effects of sham over no acupuncture reported smaller effects of acupuncture over sham intervention than trials with smaller nonspecific effects (β = -0.39, P = 0.029).Sham acupuncture interventions are often associated with moderately large nonspecific effects which could make it difficult to detect small additional specific effects. Compared to inert placebo interventions, effects associated with sham acupuncture might be larger, which would have considerable implications for the design and interpretation of clinical trials.In recent years, there has been increasing evidence from large randomized trials and systematic reviews showing that patients receiving acupuncture report better outcomes than patients receiving no treatment or usual care only (for example, [1,2]). A large trial on low back pain [3] and a meta-analysis of migraine trials [4] even found superiority over guideline-oriented conventional care. At the same time, many recent high-quality trials comparing true acupuncture with a sham acupuncture intervention found only minor or even no differe
Are acupoints specific for diseases? A systematic review of the randomized controlled trials with sham acupuncture controls
Hongwei Zhang, Zhaoxiang Bian, Zhixiu Lin
Chinese Medicine , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1749-8546-5-1
Abstract: Databases including Medline, Embase, AMED and Chinese Biomedical Database were searched to identify randomized controlled trials published between 1998 and 2009 that compared traditional body acupuncture on acupoints with sham acupuncture controls on irrelevant acupoints or non-acupoints with the same needling depth. The Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias was employed to address the quality of the included trials.Twelve acupuncture clinical trials with sham acupuncture controls were identified and included in the review. The conditions treated varied. Half of the included trials had positive results on the primary outcomes and demonstrated acupoint specificity. However, among those six trials (total sample size: 985) with low risk of bias, five trials (sample size: 940) showed no statistically significant difference between proper and sham acupuncture treatments.This review did not demonstrate the existence of acupoint specificity. Further clinical trials with larger sample sizes, optimal acupuncture treatment protocols and appropriate sham acupuncture controls are required to resolve this important issue.In acupuncture, the acupoints for a specific treatment are selected from a group consisting of local acupoints, distal acupoints and symptomatic acupoints. The selection should be in accordance with the meridian principles and the characteristics of acupoints. However, it was claimed that acupuncture may be effective even when the needle is inserted anywhere in the appropriate segment or at motor points [1,2] for some disorders such as nausea but not others such as chronic pain [3,4]. Although acupuncture treatment may regulate physiological functions [5], the current understanding of its mechanisms in physiological and psychosocial aspects is inadequate to explain the effects of specific acupoints [6-8]. There have been many clinical trials and experimental studies on the specificity of acupoints [3,9,10] but systematic reviews are not availa
The Practice of Korean Medicine: An Overview of Clinical Trials in Acupuncture  [PDF]
Yong-Suk Kim,Hyungjoon Jun,Younbyoung Chae,Hi-Joon Park,Bong Hyun Kim,Il-Moo Chang,Sung-keel Kang,Hye-Jung Lee
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2005, DOI: 10.1093/ecam/neh102
Abstract: Acupuncture, one of the Oriental medical therapeutic techniques that can be traced back at least 2500 years, is growing in popularity all over the world. Korea has continued to develop its own unique tradition of medicine throughout its long history, and has formed different types of acupuncture methods. The purpose of this review is to summarize clinical case studies in acupuncture and related therapies, such as acupressure, electric acupuncture, auricular acupuncture and moxibustion in Korea. A survey of Korean journals revealed that a total of 124 studies were published from 1983 to 2001. Results obtained from the survey showed that most clinical studies using acupuncture, electric acupuncture, moxibustion and other traditional therapies could alleviate a relatively broad range of medical problems. However, it should be emphasized that almost all clinical case studies published in various local journals did not follow the ‘good clinical practice’ with respect to regulatory aspects. Since they were not conducted using the randomized double-blinded controls with a large sample size, all the results should be considered as therapeutic indications. This review is an attempt to show the scope of acupuncture in our country and the kind of diseases, after many years of clinical experience, that were deemed valid targets for clinical trials.
Reporting of the Role of the Expert Searcher in Cochrane Reviews  [cached]
Li Zhang,Margaret Sampson,Jessie McGowan
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice , 2006,
Abstract: Introduction This study applied the principles of evidence based information practice to clarify the role of information specialists and librarians in the preparation of Cochrane systematic reviews and to determine whether information specialists impact the quality of searching in Cochrane systematic reviews. Objectives This research project sought to determine how the contribution of the person responsible for searching in the preparation of Cochrane systematic reviews was reported; whether the contribution was recognized through authorship or acknowledgement; the qualifications of the searcher; and the association between the type of contributorship and characteristics of the search strategy, assessability, and the presence of certain types of errors. Methods Data sources: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, The Cochrane Library 3 (2002). Inclusion criteria: The study included systematic reviews that met the following criteria: one or more sections of the Cochrane Highly Sensitive Search Strategy were utilised, primary studies were either randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi‐RCTs, and included and excluded studies were clearly identified. Data extraction: Two librarians assessed the searches for errors, establishing consensus on discordant ratings. Results Of the 169 reviews screened for this project, 105 met all eligibility criteria. Authors fulfilled the searching role in 41.9% of reviews studied, acknowledged persons or groups in 13.3%, a combination in 9.5%, and the role was not reported in 35.2% of reviews. For the 78 reviews in which meta‐analyses were performed, the positions of those responsible for statistical decisions were examined for comparative purposes. The statistical role was performed by an author in 47.4% of cases and unreported in the same number of cases. Insufficient analyzable data was obtained regarding professional qualifications (3/105 for searching, 2/78 for statistical decisions). Search quality was assessed for 66 searches across 74 reviews. In general, it was more possible to assess the search quality when the searcher role was reported ( χ 2=7.41, df=1,p<.01). An association was found between the reporting of searcher role and the presence of a consequential error (Fisher’s exact p two‐sided=.003). There was no association between the number of consequential errors and how the contribution of the searcher was reported ( χ 2= 15.536, df=16, p=.486). Conclusions Qualifications of the persons responsible for searching and statistical decision‐making were poorly reported in Cochrane reviews, but more complet
Randomized Clinical Trials on Acupuncture in Korean Literature: A Systematic Review  [PDF]
Jae Cheol Kong,Myeong Soo Lee,Byung-Cheul Shin
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2009, DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nem130
Abstract: The aim of this systematic review was to summarize randomized clinical trials (RCTs) assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture as published in Korean literature. Systematic searches were conducted on eight Korean medical databases. Manual searches were also conducted through eight major Korean medical journals. The methodological quality was assessed using a Jadad score. Studies evaluating needle acupuncture or auricular acupuncture (AA) with or without electrical stimulation were considered if they were sham or placebo-controlled or controlled against a comparative intervention. We also excluded acupuncture as an adjuvant to other treatments and other forms of acupuncture were excluded. Seven hundred and nine possibly relevant studies were identified and 10 RCTs were included. The methodological quality of the trials was generally poor. Manual acupuncture was compared to placebo acupuncture in four studies of patients with chronic low back pain, shoulder pain, premenstrual syndrome and allergic rhinitis. Three studies tested AA (two trials) and electroacupuncture (one trial) against no treatment, while three trials compared acupuncture with other active therapeutic controls. The methodological limitations of the included trials make their contribution to the current clinical evidence of acupuncture somewhat limited. The trial for premenstrual syndrome, shoulder pain and chronic low back pain added a limited contribution among those included RCTs. However, well-designed RCTs of acupuncture with a rigorous methodology are in progress or have been completed in Korea and will contribute to establish or contribute to the current progress of research in this field.
Are You Interested in Performing Cochrane Reviews in Neuro-Oncology?  [PDF]
Grant R,Hart M,Quinn G
European Association of NeuroOncology Magazine , 2012,
Abstract: In this article, we describe the newly formed Cochrane Neuro-Oncology webpage, which is a simple, fast source to find all Neuro- Oncology-related Cochrane Reviews. We describe where the reviews have been produced and identify areas where no high quality systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials exist. The Cochrane Collaboration is a world-wide, not-for-profit organisation which has information on 0.6 million randomised controlled trials across all areas of healthcare. We describe the requirements for production of a Cochrane review, online help available, and personal support for prospective reviewers, available through the Cochrane Gynaecological and Orphan Cancer Review Group.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Products for Coronary Heart Disease: An Overview of Cochrane Reviews
Yu Qiu,Hao Xu,Dazhuo Shi
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/417387
Abstract: Objective. The aim of this overview was to evaluate and summarize Cochrane reviews of traditional Chinese herbal products (TCHPs) as the treatment for coronary heart disease (CHD). Methods. We searched the Cochrane Database that was concerned with the effectiveness of TCHPs for CHD. We also searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Reviews and primary studies of TCHP as the treatment of any type of CHD were included. Data were extracted according to predefined inclusion criteria by two independent reviewers. Results. Six Cochrane reviews were included. They related to a wide range of TCHPs for different types of CHD. Four reviews were concerned with angina pectoris (unstable or stable), one review was concerned with heart failure, and for acute myocardial infarction. No reviews concluded that TCHPs were definitely effective for CHD because of the weak evidence. Eight primary studies were TCHPs from CHD. These studies also maybe result in bias, but better than before. Conclusion. Several Cochrane reviews of TCHPs for the treatment of different types of CHD have recently been published. None of these reviews got definite conclusion favoring the effectiveness of TCHPs due to the weak evidence. With the improved quality of the new registered RCTs. The potential role of TCHPs in treating CHD is anticipated to be detected.
Clinical critical qualitative evaluation of the selected randomized controlled trials in current acupuncture researches for low back pain  [cached]
Edwin Yong Miao
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao , 2010,
Abstract: Background: Many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and reviews concluded that acupuncture is not an effective treatment for low back pain (LBP) and there is no difference between real acupuncture and sham acupuncture in the treatment of LBP. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the most recently published RCTs and reviews from the clinical protocol, which is used by professional acupuncturists.Data sources and synthesis: English-language studies were identified through searches of The Cochrane Library, PubMed/MEDLINE and EMBASE, limited to those published between January 2007 and January 2010. Eighteen trials studying conditions related to LBP conditions treated by acupuncture or acupuncture as one of the co-interventions were eligible.Study appraisal methods: A critical clinical qualitative evaluation is the core methodology of this study. The study design employs daily used clinical skills and knowledge with supplementary statistical concepts to evaluate the quality and reliability of the selected RCTs and reviews. Five evaluation criteria were established for the assessment of the selected RCTs and reviews. By implementing the evaluation criteria, which are similar to the inclusion and exclusion criteria used in RCTs, the weaknesses, limitations or errors of RCTs and reviews can be identified, despite the strength of internal validity produced by statistical calculations.Results: Various terms are used when describing LBP conditions. However, 16 RCTs or 88% of the trials did not establish a medical diagnosis. No trials had objective measurements as a clinical standard for assessing outcomes. Furthermore, significant variation existed due to the numerous treatment methods or therapists used in the RCTs included in the study. Various co-interventions were used in 10 or 55% of the trials, among them, 6 or 33% of the trials used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or analgesics. Due to the lack of diagnostic status, the accuracy of the external validity was put into question. No logistic regression models were used in any of the selected RCTs and reviews to resolve the degree of heterogeneity.Conclusion: All selected RCTs either partially met the evaluation criteria or did not fulfill the evaluation criteria while being compared. The major problem existing in all RCTs was the lack of accurate medical diagnosis and a lack of objective measurements to judge the clinical outcomes, which in turn, created incorrect eligibility criteria, improper matches and inaccuracies in data recording before entry into statistical calculations. As a consequen
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