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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Apr;126(4):489-92.

Efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for tinnitus: a systematic review.

Author information

  • 1Department of Complementary Medicine, School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, England. J.B.Park@exeter.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tinnitus is a prevalent condition for which patients may seek treatment with acupuncture since no conventional treatment has been shown to be effective.

OBJECTIVE:

To summarize and critically review all randomized controlled trials on the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for tinnitus.

DATA SOURCES:

Four independent computerized literature searches (MEDLINE, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Embase, and CISCOM) were conducted in December 1998 using the key words acupuncture and tinnitus.

STUDY SELECTION:

All randomized controlled trials that compared any form of acupuncture with any control intervention in the treatment of tinnitus were included.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Data were extracted by 2 authors independently. The methodological quality of the included randomized controlled trials was assessed using the Jadad score.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Six randomized controlled trials were included in the review, 4 of which used crossover design. Four studies used manual acupuncture and 2 used electroacupuncture. Five of 6 studies used inconsistent acupoints. Three studies scored 3 points or more on the Jadad scale.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Outcome measurements were visual analog scale scores for loudness, annoyance, and awareness of tinnitus; subjective severity scale scores for tinnitus; or Nottingham Health Profile scores.

RESULTS:

Two unblinded studies showed a positive result, whereas 4 blinded studies showed no significant effect of acupuncture.

CONCLUSION:

Acupuncture has not been demonstrated to be efficacious as a treatment for tinnitus on the evidence of rigorous randomized controlled trials.

PMID:
10772302
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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