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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:273409. doi: 10.1155/2015/273409. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

The Reporting Quality of Acupuncture-Related Infections in Korean Literature: A Systematic Review of Case Studies.

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Korean Medicine Clinical Trial Center, Korean Medicine Hospital, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.
Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.
College of Korean Medicine, Gachon University, Seongnam 13120, Republic of Korea.



Acupuncture is generally accepted as a safe intervention when it is administered in appropriate clinical setting by well-educated and experienced practitioners. In this study, we reviewed observational studies on adverse events (AEs) or complications relevant to acupuncture practice in Korean literature for assessing their reporting quality and suggested recommendations for future ones on acupuncture-related infections.


Electronic databases including Medline, Embase, Cochrane library, Korean studies Information Service System, DBpia, National Digital Science Library, and Korean National Assembly Library were searched until May 2015. Combination of keywords including "acupuncture" and "infection" were used for searching databases.


A total of 23 studies from 2,739 literature articles were identified from electronic database searching until May 2015. From this review, we found that most case studies did not report enough information for judging causality between acupuncture and the AEs (or complications) as well as appropriateness of the acupuncture practice. In addition, acupuncture experts rarely participated in the reporting of these AEs (or complications).


Based on these limitations, we suggest a tentative recommendation for future case studies on acupuncture-related infection. We hope that this recommendation would contribute to the improvement of the reporting quality of acupuncture-related AEs (or complications) in the future.

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