Reviews of acupuncture for chronic neck pain: pitfalls in conducting systematic reviews

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2002 Nov;41(11):1224-31. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/41.11.1224.


This paper examines some of the problems specifically associated with conducting research into acupuncture and how this can lead to further problems with subsequent systematic reviews. Studies for the treatment of chronic neck pain have been used as examples of how presented information can be misleading to an acupuncture-naive reader and how researchers must be sensitive to these problems when compiling their inclusion and exclusion criteria. The problems associated with scoring trials are discussed and further work to increase the scope of scoring mechanisms is recommended in order to produce meaningful systematic reviews in the future.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / standards*
  • Acupuncture Therapy / trends
  • Chronic Disease
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neck
  • Netherlands
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Selection
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research / standards
  • Research / trends
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Treatment Outcome