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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 12;8(9):e73764. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073764. eCollection 2013.

Manual acupuncture for treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Author information

1
Centre For Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2014;9(3):e91110.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Manual acupuncture has commonly been used in China, either alone or in combination with conventional medicine, to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review to evaluate the potential benefits and harms of manual acupuncture for DPN to justify its clinical use.

METHODS:

We searched for published and unpublished randomized controlled trials of manual acupuncture for DPN till 31 March 2013. Revman 5.2 software was used for data analysis with effect estimate presented as relative risk (RR) and mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval (CI).

RESULTS:

A total of 25 trials involving 1649 participants were included. The methodological quality of included trials was generally poor. Meta-analysis showed that manual acupuncture had better effect on global symptom improvement compared with mecobalamin (RR 1.31, 95%CI 1.21 to 1.42), vitamin B1 and B12 (RR 1.55, 95%CI 1.33 to 1.80), and no treatment (RR 1.56, 95%CI 1.31 to 1.85), and that the combination of manual acupuncture and mecobalamin had better effect compared with mecobalamin alone on global symptom improvement (RR 1.56, 95%CI 1.28 to 1.90). Adverse events were not reported in any trials. The asymmetric funnel plot suggested publication bias.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the number of trials of manual acupuncture for DPN and their uniformly positive results, no clinically relevant conclusions can be drawn from this review due to the trials' high risks of bias and the possibility of publication bias. Clearly defined and internationally acknowledged outcome measures are required for future study. There remains an urgent need for training Chinese researchers in conducting unbiased trials as well as prospectively registering all initiated Chinese trials to avoid publication bias.

PMID:
24069229
PMCID:
PMC3771980
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0073764
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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