Acupuncture for surgical conditions: an overview of systematic reviews

Authors

  • M. S. Lee,

    1. Medical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea
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  • E. Ernst

    Corresponding author
    1. Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
    • Correspondence to:

      Edzard Ernst, Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Lane, Exeter, EX2 4SG, UK

      Tel.: + 44 (0)1392 726029

      Fax: + 44 (0)1392 421009

      Email: E.Ernst@exeter.ac.uk

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  • Disclosure

    None.

Summary

Aim

Several systematic reviews (SRs) of acupuncture for surgical conditions have recently been published with sometimes contradicting results. The aim of this overview was to summarise recent SRs of acupuncture for surgical conditions.

Method

Thirteen electronic databases were searched for relevant reviews published since 2000. Data were extracted by two independent reviewers according to predefined criteria.

Results

Twelve SRs met our inclusion criteria. They related to the prevention or treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting as well as to surgical or postoperative pain. Their results were far from uniform, and several caveats need to be considered.

Conclusion

The evidence is insufficient to suggest that acupuncture is an effective intervention in surgical settings. More rigorous research seems warranted.

This protocol was registered with PROSPERO database (registration number: CRD42013004817).

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