This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
To review all randomized or quasi-randomized (not strictly randomized methods of allocation e.g., by date of birth, hospital record number or alternation) controlled trials pertaining to the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of OA of the knee, hip or hand. The three specific objectives of this systematic review are:
1) To assess the efficacy of acupuncture compared to standard medical treatment for osteoarthritis.
2) To assess the efficacy of true acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee.
3) To assess the efficacy of acupuncture plus standard medical treatment compared to standard medical care alone for osteoarthritis of the knee.