Research: WHITE and colleagues, Uni

Listed in Issue 87

Abstract

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.

Background

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.

Methodology

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

References

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.

Comment

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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