Efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for tinnitus: a systematic review



Efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for tinnitus: a systematic review








Research Type

Systematic Review



BACKGROUND: Tinnitus is a prevalent condition for which patients may seek treatment with acupuncture since no conventional treatment has been shown to be effective. OBJECTIVE: To summarize and critically review all randomized controlled trials on the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for tinnitus. DATA SOURCES: Four independent computerized literature searches (MEDLINE, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Embase, and CISCOM) were conducted in December 1998 using the key words acupuncture and tinnitus. STUDY SELECTION: All randomized controlled trials that compared any form of acupuncture with any control intervention in the treatment of tinnitus were included. DATA EXTRACTION: Data were extracted by 2 authors independently. The methodological quality of the included randomized controlled trials was assessed using the Jadad score. DATA SYNTHESIS: Six randomized controlled trials were included in the review, 4 of which used crossover design. Four studies used manual acupuncture and 2 used electroacupuncture. Five of 6 studies used inconsistent acupoints. Three studies scored 3 points or more on the Jadad scale. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measurements were visual analog scale scores for loudness, annoyance, and awareness of tinnitus; subjective severity scale scores for tinnitus; or Nottingham Health Profile scores. RESULTS: Two unblinded studies showed a positive result, whereas 4 blinded studies showed no significant effect of acupuncture. CONCLUSION: Acupuncture has not been demonstrated to be efficacious as a treatment for tinnitus on the evidence of rigorous randomized controlled trials

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Number of Participants

6 RCTs

has health condition studied

Systematic Review

has duration


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