High-level evidence of acupuncture analgesia published in PubMed-listed journals: A descriptive analysis




Poster session 4 Saturday: Evidence implementation and evaluation


Saturday 16 September 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00


All authors in correct order:

Li X1, Pan Y2, Yuan T1, Shi X3, Gu W1, Zhang J1, Liu C4, Tian J1, Yang K1
1 Evidence-Based Medicine Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou; Key Laboratory of Evidence-Based Medicine and Knowledge Translation of Gansu Province, Lanzhou, China
2 First clinical medical college of Lanzhou University, China
3 Rehabilitation Center Hospital of Gansu Province, Lanzhou, China
4 School of Information Science & Engineering, Lanzhou University, China
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Kehu Yang

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Evaluating the clinical efficacy of acupuncture analgesia with high-level evidence, such as Systematic Review (SRs) and randomised-controlled trials (RCTs), has attracted wide interest.

Objectives: To collect a sample of published SRs and RCTs on acupuncture analgesia in PubMed and examine them in terms of reporting characteristics and quality.

Methods: A search in PubMed was performed in January 2017. All SRs and RCTs on acupuncture analgesia were included. To assess the quality of the RCTs, CCRBT was used. For the SRs, AMSTAR and PRISMA Statements were used. EndNote X4 and Excel were used for data description and analysis.

Results: 4045 articles were retrieved in total, the high-level evidence was 372, which included: i) SRs (139, 3,4%), the yearly number of publications ranging from 1 in 1997 to 28 in 2016; 18 (12.9) SRs were Cochrane Systematic Reviews, and 123 (88.5%) were published in Science Citation Index (SCI) journals; The UK was the country with the highest number of publications (34, 24.5%). Low back pain (16, 11.5%), headache (10, 7.2%), cancer pain (9, 6.5%), and labour pain (9, 6.5%) were the most reported diseases or phenotypes; 78 (56.1%) SRs conducted meta-analysis using RevMan software, and 64 (46.0%) SRs used the CCRBT for quality assessment; 71 (51.1%) SRs were assessed as high reporting quality, and 26 (18.7%) were high methodological quality. RCTs (233, 5.8% ), which were identified across 61 journals, of which 56.7% of articles were SCI-indexed (impact factor 0.4–20); Most of the articles were published in China (105, 45.1%), UK (51, 21.9%) and USA (50, 21.5%); Postoperative pain (21, 9.0%) and manual acupuncture (107, 45.9%) was the most prevalent; 192 (82.4%) trials were considered to be at high risk of bias.

Conclusions: The quantity and the quality of the SRs and RCTs regarding acupuncture analgesia have been promoted in recent years. More effort should be expended on the reporting and methodological quality to improve the validity of the high-level evidence.