Research: WHITE and colleagues, Uni

Listed in Issue 87


WHITE and colleagues, University of Southampton, Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton, U.K., review (81 references) literature reviews of acupuncture for chronic neck pain to show pitfalls in conducting systematic reviews.


The paper examines some of the problems specifically associated with conducting research into acupuncture and how this can lead to further problems in subsequent systematic reviews.


Studies for the treatment of chronic neck pain have been used as examples of how presented information can be misleading to an acupuncture-naïve reader.


Researchers must be sensitive to the demonstrated problems when compiling inclusion and exclusion criteria. The problems with scoring trials are discussed and further work to increase the scope of scoring mechanisms is recommended in order to produce more meaningful systematic reviews in the future.



White P, Lewith G, Berman B, Birch S. Reviews of acupuncture for chronic neck pain: pitfalls in conducting systematic reviews. Rheumatology 41 (11): 1224-1231, Nov 2002.


White and colleagues can take heart that researchers are battling with methodologies to properly assess the therapeutic efficacy of acupuncture for chronic neck pain and other conditions.

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