Acupuncture: Does it alleviate pain and are there serious risks? A review of reviews

@article{Ernst2011AcupunctureDI,
  title={Acupuncture: Does it alleviate pain and are there serious risks? A review of reviews},
  author={Edzard Ernst and Myeong Soo Lee and Tae-Young Choi},
  journal={PAIN{\textregistered}},
  year={2011},
  volume={152},
  pages={755-764}
}
Journal Club
  • Complementary Medicine Research
  • 2011
Acupuncture is commonly used for pain control, but doubts about its effectiveness and safety remain. This review was aimed at critically evaluating systematic reviews of acupuncture as a treatment of
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Acupuncture is increasingly used worldwide. It is becoming more accepted by both patients and healthcare providers. However, the current understanding of its adverse events (AEs) is fragmented. We
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TLDR
It is suggested that an enriched enrolment with randomised withdrawal design may overcome some of these methodological shortcomings of RCTs and improve the quality of evidence so that healthcare providers and commissioners can make informed choices on the interventions which can legitimately be provided to patients living with chronic pain.
Acupuncture for Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review
TLDR
The available evidence supporting that acupuncture alone improves ED was insufficient and the available studies failed to show the specific therapeutic effect of acupuncture, suggesting that acupuncture combined with psychological therapy was superior to psychological therapy alone.
The Immediate Analgesic Effect of Acupuncture for Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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How do Systematic Reviews of Acupuncture for Pain Relief Incorporate Risk of Bias Assessments into the Synthesis? A Methodological Study
TLDR
The aim of this study was to identify how critical appraisals of risk of bias (RoB) inform the synthesis of evidence in SRs of acupuncture for pain relief, and nearly half of them failed to incorporate the RoB assessment into the synthesis.
Adverse Events of Acupuncture: A Systematic Review of Case Reports
TLDR
An evaluation of the frequency and severity of adverse events reported for acupuncture, moxibustion, and cupping between 2000 and 2011 found the majority of infections to be bacterial, caused by skin contact at acupoint sites; no cases of hepatitis were found.
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TLDR
There is moderate evidence that acupuncture is more effective than no treatment, and strong evidence of no significant difference between acupuncture and sham acupuncture, for short-term pain relief, but the effectiveness of acupuncture compared with other forms of conventional therapies still requires further investigation.
The Safety of Acupuncture – Evidence from the Uk
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The risks associated with acupuncture can be classified as negligible, and acupuncture is a very safe treatment in the hands of competent practitioners.
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