Table 1

Checklist for CER relevant aspects for acupuncture clinical studies
Designing CER studies
Stakeholder involvement □ All relevant stakeholders are involved in
□ Identification of research topic
□ Plan and design of CER
□ Interpretation of results
Efficacy-effectiveness continuum □ Study location on the efficacy-effectiveness continuum is determined for participant selection/eligibility criteria, treatment protocol, practitioner expertise, outcomes, setting in which the study is conducted.
Study population
Eligibility criteria □ Study population reflects those who usually receive this treatment
□ Study population includes both acupuncture- naïve and acupuncture-non-naïve patients
Patient recruitment □ Patients are recruited from site where the treatment is usually employed
Treatment protocol, expertise, and setting
Acupuncture intervention □ Adequate consensus procedure is used to define intervention
Comparison groups □ Adequate consensus procedure used to define comparison(s)
□ Definitions and details for terms such as “usual care” provided
Treatment documentation □ Documentation reflects which treatments were received in all groups (interventions and co-interventions)
Measures □ Widely accepted or standardized outcome measure used
□ Secondary outcomes capture relevant patient-centered dimensions for the condition under study
Timing □ Assessment schedule is balanced gaining study relevant data without substantially disrupting treatment protocol or setting
Study design and statistical analysis
Allocation □ Allocation is concealed
□ Stratification for subgroups or dynamic allocation for key characteristics used
Blinding □ Outcome data inaccessible to practitioners
□ Blinded outcome rater, if possible, used
Preferences/ expectation □ Preferences and expectations measured at baseline
Sample size □ Sample size takes patient heterogeneity into account
□ Required sample size is feasible
□ Study has enough power for planned subgroup analyses
Subgroups □ Relevant subgroups preplanned (e.g. gender)
□ Exploratory subgroup analysis mentioned in study aims
Statistical analysis □ Intention-to-treat analyses planned
□ Relevant subgroup analyses planned
□ Adjusted for stratification variables, baseline differences and relevant confounders
□ Setting reflects reality in clinical practice
Methodological approach □ Standard methods for economic evaluations used
□ Sensitivity analysis for all relevant stakeholder perspectives
□ Relevant subgroups identified
Observation time □ In chronic diseases long-term observation (≥ 12 months), if possible, planned
Guidelines □ Relevant guidelines (e.g. CONSORT) consulted and followed
Content □ Stated how and why this is CER
□ Study setting (incl. procedure of practitioner selection) described in detail
□ Treatment group description from informed consent provided
□ Comparison groups described in detail
□ Data provided on all interventions and co-interventions received
□ Relevant subgroup analyses reported

Witt et al.

Witt et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 12:148   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-148

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