Acupuncture for spinal cord injury survivors in Chinese literature: a systematic review



Acupuncture for spinal cord injury survivors in Chinese literature: a systematic review


Journal Publication







Research Type

Systematic Review



OBJECTIVE(S): To systematically review Chinese literature on the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). DATA SOURCES: The Chinese electronic databases (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) were searched from their inceptions to May 2008. STUDY SELECTION: Trials reporting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) where patients with SCI (with or without operation) were treated with acupuncture including electroacupuncture. DATA EXTRACTION: Methodological quality was assessed with the PEDro scale. Discrepancies were resolved through discussions and arbitration by two co-authors. RESULTS: The searches identified 236 potentially relevant studies, of which 7 RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Five studies assessed functional recovery, and two bladder dysfunction. All the studies reported favourable effects of acupuncture on functional recovery or urinary function; however methodological quality of studies is poor in general. Meanwhile, pooled analysis of two trials assessing bladder dysfunction showed positive effectiveness compared with conventional treatment (n = 128, RR 1.51 [1.21, 1.90], P = 0.0004, heterogeneity Tau(2) < 0.01, Chi(2) = 0.01, P = 0.94, I(2) = 0%). CONCLUSION(S): Based on 7 RCTs done in China, the effectiveness of acupuncture for functional recovery and bladder dysfunction in SCI is suggestive. With the methodological quality of the included studies on functional recovery and the small number of studies on bladder dysfunction taken into consideration, further rigorous studies prove needed.

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has health condition studied

Wounds and Injuries

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