A meta-analysis of acupuncture for chronic pain

Int J Epidemiol. 1989 Dec;18(4):900-6. doi: 10.1093/ije/18.4.900.


Results of 14 randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for chronic pain were pooled in a meta-analysis and analysed in three subgroups according to site of pain; and in two subgroups each according to type to trial, type of treatment, type of control, 'blindness' of participating agents, trial size, and type of journal in which results were published. While few individual trials had statistically significant results, pooled results of many subgroups attained statistical significance in favour of acupuncture. Various potential sources of bias, including problems with blindness, precluded a conclusive finding although most results apparently favoured acupuncture.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Analgesia / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pain Management*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Selection Bias