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Table 1 Characteristics of included trials: Chronic pain trials

From: How large are the nonspecific effects of acupuncture? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Trial Clinical problem Sample size (% dropout rate) Concealment Outcome used for meta-analysis Intervention details Standard basic care in all groups
Birch & Jamison [38] Chonic myofascial neck pain 46
(22%)
Unclear Change from baseline on pain intensity rating scale N:14
D:30
T:12w
Ac:C JA
S:I C 2
NSAIDs if needed
Brinkhaus et al. [39] Chronic low-back pain 298
(6%)
Adequate PMOM: VAS pain intensity week 8 N:12
D:30
T:8w
Ac:B CA
S:I B 1
NSAIDs if needed
Cherkin et al. [42] Chronic low-back pain 638
(5%)
Adequate PMOM: Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire week 8 N:10
D:20
T:7w
Ac1:A CA
Ac2:C CA
S:C II 3
Self-care book, usual care as needed
Faccoa et al. [44] Migraine 160
(21%)
Adequateb Migraine Disability Index (MIDAS) at 3 months N:20
D:30
T:11w
Ac:A CA
S1:II A 3
S2:II C 3
Rizatriptan for attacks in all patients
Foster et al. [46] Osteoarthritis of the knee 352
(7%)
Adequate WOMAC pain scale at 6 weeks (PMOM: 6 months) N:6
D:30
T:3w
Ac:A CA
S:II A 3
Individual exercise, advice, NSAIDs if neededd
Helms [49] Primary dysmenorrhea 48
(10%)
Unclear Monthly pain score week 12 N:9
D:30
T:12w
Ac:C CA
S:I C 1
No treatment
Kotani et al. [51] Treatment-resistant pain at abdominal scares 70
(0)
Adequate VAS intensity continuous pain after treatment N:20
Dc
T:4w
Ac:A TA
S:I A 1
Diclofenac as necessary
Lee & Lee [52] Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain 39
(19%)
Unclear PMOM: Change NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index N:12
D:20
T:6w
Ac:C EA
S:I C 1
Advice and basic exercises
Leibing et al. [53] Chronic low-back pain 131
(13%)
Unclear Decrease intensity of pain (VAS) at 12 weeks N:20
D:30
T:12w
Ac:C CA
S:I C 1
26 sessions standardized physiotherapyd
Linde et al. [56] Migraine 302
(9%)
Adequate PMOM: Days with at least moderate headache in weeks 9 to 12 N:12
D:30
T:8w
Ac:B CA
Sc:I B 1
Attack medication as needed
Melchart et al. [58] Tension-type headache 270
(8)%
Adequate PMOM: Number of days with headache in weeks 9 to 12 N:12
D:30
T:8w
Ac:B CA
S:I B 1
Pain medication as needed
Molsberger et al. [59] Chronic low-back pain 186
(6%)
Adequate VAS pain intensity after 1 month (dichotomous PMOM) N:12
D:30
T:4w
Ac:B CA
S:I C 1
Orthopedic rehabilitation programd
Suarez-Almazora et al. [64] Osteoarthritis of the knee 535
(8%)
Adequateb WOMAC pain scale at 3 months N:12
D:20
T:6w
Ac:C CA
S:I C 1
NSAIDs and analgesics as before study
Witt et al. [67] Osteoarthritis of the knee 294
(5%)
Adequate PMOM: WOMAC total score after baseline at 8 weeks N:12
D:30
T:8w
Ac:B CA
S:I B 1
NSAIDs if needed
  1. aTwo sham groups with different context. bAdditional information received from author. cTreatment with intradermal needles. dClassified as intense cointervention likely to influence the outcome. PMOM, explicitly predefined (regarding type and timing) confirmatory main outcome measure; VAS, visual analogue scale; N, number of treatment sessions; D, duration of each treatment session; T, total duration of treatment in weeks; Ac, Acupuncture; S, sham intervention; A, individualized; B, semistandardized; C, standardized; CA, needling at classical acupuncture body points; EA, electroacupuncture (needles stimulated with electrical currency); EarA, ear acupuncture (needling at ear points); JA, Japanese acupuncture (superficial needling); TA, acupuncture at trigger points; I, penetrating; II, nonpenetrating; 1, needled outside known points; 2, acupuncture points not indicated for condition needled; 3, at correct points; NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; WOMAC, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.