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"In conclusion, penetrating or non-penetrating sham-controlled RCTs failed to show specific effects of acupuncture for pain control in patients with RA. More rigorous research seems to be warranted." M. S. Lee, B. C. Shin, and E. Ernst, (Rheumatology 2008 — 47:1747-1753) [pdf]
"Auricular acupuncture had no effect upon withdrawal severity or craving when provided as an adjunct to a standard methadone detoxification treatment. The results are consistent with the findings of other studies that failed to find any effect of acupuncture in the treatment of drug dependence. The failure to find any clinical gains from the adjunctive use of auricular acupuncture during detoxification from opiates raises concerns about the widespread acceptance of this intervention." Bearn J, Swami A, Stewart D, Atnas C, Giotto L, Gossop M., J Subst Abuse Treat. (April 2009)
"There is no evidence of benefit on pregnancy outcomes when acupuncture is performed around the time of oocyte retrieval." Cheong YC, Hung Yu, Ng E, Ledger WL. Acupuncture and assisted conception. Report in Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies [FACT] (March 2009)
CONCLUSION: The evidence is insufficient to suggest that acupuncture is an effective intervention for treating ED. Further research is required to investigate whether there are specific benefits of acupuncture for men with ED. Lee MS, Shin BC, Ernst E, BJU Int. (23rd February 2009)
CONCLUSION: The evidence is not convincing to suggest acupuncture is an effective treatment for hot flush in patients with PC. Further research is required to investigate whether acupuncture has hot-flush-specific effects. Lee MS, Kim KH, Shin BC, Choi SM, Ernst E. Support Care Cancer. (18th February 2009)
"We found a small analgesic effect of acupuncture that seems to lack clinical relevance and cannot be clearly distinguished from bias. Whether needling at acupuncture points, or at any site, reduces pain independently of the psychological impact of the treatment ritual is unclear." Madsen MV, Gotzsche PC, Hrobjartsson A. BMJ (27th January 2009) [Quoted from the full text of the review]
CONCLUSION: Even though the number of studies is small, the existing evidence does not demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture for AD. Int J Clin Pract. (2009)
"Both study and control groups showed significant improvement with respect to time effects in terms of 6-min walking distance, pain VAS, pain domain and mobility domain scores determined by the osteoarthritis of the knee outcome measurement, after adjusting for co-variables. However, improvements measured in the study group did not differ significantly from those in the control group." Maa SH, Sun MF, Wu CC. The effectiveness of acupuncture on pain and mobility in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a pilot study. J Nurs Res 2008. Report in Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies [FACT] (December 2008)
"There were no significant effects for changes in hot flush interference, sleep, mood, health-related QoL, or psychological well-being." Avis NE, Legault C, Coeytaux RR et al. A randomized, controlled pilot study of acupuncture treatment for menopausal hot flashes. Menopause 2008. Report in Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies [FACT] (December 2008)
"There is insufficient evidence to support the use of acupuncture for the symptomatic treatment of restless legs syndrome." Cui Y, Wang Y, Liu Z, (8th October 2008)
"In an attempt to find the most reliable type of evidence, this article provides an overview of Cochrane reviews of acupuncture….. It is concluded that Cochrane reviews of acupuncture do not suggest that this treatment is effective for a wide range of conditions." Ernst E., Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (11th September 2008) NOTE: The Cochrane Collaboration is a worldwide network of independent scientists dedicated to systematically summarising the totality of the evidence related to specific medical subjects in a rigorous and transparently impartial fashion.
COCHRANE SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS:
Needling was not found to be significantly superior to placebo. Tough EA, White AR, Cummings TM et al. Acupuncture and dry needling in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Eur J Pain 2008. Report in Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies [FACT] (September 2008)
"Conclusion: We conclude that, because of the paucity and of the poor quality of the data, the evidence for the effectiveness of AA for the symptomatic treatment of insomnia is limited. Further, rigorously designed trials are warranted to confirm these results." Lee MS, Shin BC, Suen LK, Park TY, Ernst E, Int. J. Clin. Pract. (25th August 2008)
"Patients with epilepsy are currently treated with antiepileptic drugs, but a significant number of people continue to have seizures and many experience adverse effects to the drugs. As a result there is increasing interest in alternative therapies and acupuncture is one of those. Eleven studies were included, however acupuncture has not yet been proven to be effective and safe for treating people with epilepsy." Cheuk DKL, Wong V (16th July 2008)
Conclusion: There is currently insufficient evidence to support or refute the use of acupuncture in patients with AR. A large well conducted RCT, which overcomes identified methodological problems in the existing RCTs, would be required to resolve this questions. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (22nd April 2008)
Results: Arm pain scores improved in both groups during the treatment period, but improvements were significantly greater in the sham group than in the true acupuncture group. This difference disappeared by 1 month after treatment ended. The true acupuncture group experienced more side effects, predominantly mild pain at time of treatments. Clinical Journal of Pain (March-April 2008)
CONCLUSIONS: Because of low methodologic quality and small sample size, there is no convincing evidence for acupuncture in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. There is an urgent need for randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trials to assess the effects of acupuncture. Yang H, Liu CZ, Chen X, Ma LX, Xie JP, Guo NN, Ma ZB, Zheng YY, Zhu J, Liu JP. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. (2008)
Conclusions: We have demonstrated that patients with severe knee osteoarthritis can achieve a short-term reduction in OKS when treated with acupuncture. However, we failed to demonstrate any other clinically or statically significant effects between the groups. Both interventions can be delivered effectively in an out-patient group setting at a district general hospital. Further study is needed to evaluate the combined effects of these treatments. Rheumatology (29th June 2007)
"This meta-analysis of 9 trials showed that sham-controlled trials identified no clinically meaningful short-term benefits in pain or function with acupuncture for knee osteo-arthritis, although trials that did not use a sham control identified some benefits." Implications: "The use of different types of comparisons (sham acupuncture vs. interventions in which the participant knew whether they were receiving acupuncture) explains the variability in the conclusions of published trials about the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating knee osteo-arthritis. Placebo or expectation effects probably account for the observed benefits." Annals of Internal Medicine (19th June 2007)
"Many reports of chronic pain treatment by acupuncture and moxibustion are listed in Japanese databases. From the data, we conclude that there is limited evidence that acupuncture is more effective than no treatment, and inconclusive evidence that trigger point acupuncture is more effective than placebo, sham acupuncture or standard care." Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (9th January 2007)