Document Detail

Acupuncture: does it alleviate pain and are there serious risks? A review of reviews.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21440191     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Acupuncture is commonly used for pain control, but doubts about its effectiveness and safety remain. This review was aimed at critically evaluating systematic reviews of acupuncture as a treatment of pain and at summarizing reports of serious adverse effects published since 2000. Literature searches were carried out in 11 databases without language restrictions. Systematic reviews were considered for the evaluation of effectiveness and case series or case reports for summarizing adverse events. Data were extracted according to predefined criteria. Fifty-seven systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. Four were of excellent methodological quality. Numerous contradictions and caveats emerged. Unanimously positive conclusions from more than one high-quality systematic review existed only for neck pain. Ninety-five cases of severe adverse effects including 5 fatalities were included. Pneumothorax and infections were the most frequently reported adverse effects. In conclusion, numerous systematic reviews have generated little truly convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain. Serious adverse effects continue to be reported. Numerous reviews have produced little convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain. Serious adverse events, including deaths, continue to be reported.
E Ernst; Myeong Soo Lee; Tae-Young Choi
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pain     Volume:  152     ISSN:  1872-6623     ISO Abbreviation:  Pain     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-03-28     Completed Date:  2011-07-26     Revised Date:  2011-09-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7508686     Medline TA:  Pain     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  755-64     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter & Plymouth, Exeter, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Acupuncture Therapy / adverse effects*,  methods*
Databases, Bibliographic / statistics & numerical data
Infection / etiology
Pain / therapy*
Pain Measurement
Treatment Outcome*
Wounds and Injuries / etiology
Comment In:
Pain. 2011 Sep;152(9):2179-80; auther reply 2184-6   [PMID:  21550173 ]
Pain. 2011 Sep;152(9):2180; auther reply 2184-6   [PMID:  21550172 ]
Pain. 2011 Sep;152(9):2181-2; auther reply 2184-6   [PMID:  21778019 ]
Ann Intern Med. 2011 Aug 16;155(4):JC2-6   [PMID:  21844539 ]
Pain. 2011 Sep;152(9):2181; auther reply 2184-6   [PMID:  21783323 ]
Pain. 2011 Sep;152(9):2184; auther reply 2184-6   [PMID:  21669493 ]
Pain. 2011 Sep;152(9):2182-3; auther reply 2184-6   [PMID:  21680093 ]
Pain. 2011 Apr;152(4):711-2   [PMID:  21440190 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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