Table 1

Characteristics of included trials: Chronic pain trials

Trial

Clinical problem

Sample size (% dropout rate)

Concealment

Outcome used for meta-analysis

Intervention details

Standard basic care in all groups


Birch & Jamison [38]

Chonic myofascial neck pain

46

(22%)

Unclear

Change from baseline on pain intensity rating scale

N:14

D:30

T:12w

Ac:C JA

S:I C 2

NSAIDs if needed

Brinkhaus et al. [39]

Chronic low-back pain

298

(6%)

Adequate

PMOM: VAS pain intensity week 8

N:12

D:30

T:8w

Ac:B CA

S:I B 1

NSAIDs if needed

Cherkin et al. [42]

Chronic low-back pain

638

(5%)

Adequate

PMOM: Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire week 8

N:10

D:20

T:7w

Ac1:A CA

Ac2:C CA

S:C II 3

Self-care book, usual care as needed

Faccoa et al. [44]

Migraine

160

(21%)

Adequateb

Migraine Disability Index (MIDAS) at 3 months

N:20

D:30

T:11w

Ac:A CA

S1:II A 3

S2:II C 3

Rizatriptan for attacks in all patients

Foster et al. [46]

Osteoarthritis of the knee

352

(7%)

Adequate

WOMAC pain scale at 6 weeks (PMOM: 6 months)

N:6

D:30

T:3w

Ac:A CA

S:II A 3

Individual exercise, advice, NSAIDs if neededd

Helms [49]

Primary dysmenorrhea

48

(10%)

Unclear

Monthly pain score week 12

N:9

D:30

T:12w

Ac:C CA

S:I C 1

No treatment

Kotani et al. [51]

Treatment-resistant pain at abdominal scares

70

(0)

Adequate

VAS intensity continuous pain after treatment

N:20

Dc

T:4w

Ac:A TA

S:I A 1

Diclofenac as necessary

Lee & Lee [52]

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain

39

(19%)

Unclear

PMOM: Change NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index

N:12

D:20

T:6w

Ac:C EA

S:I C 1

Advice and basic exercises

Leibing et al. [53]

Chronic low-back pain

131

(13%)

Unclear

Decrease intensity of pain (VAS) at 12 weeks

N:20

D:30

T:12w

Ac:C CA

S:I C 1

26 sessions standardized physiotherapyd

Linde et al. [56]

Migraine

302

(9%)

Adequate

PMOM: Days with at least moderate headache in weeks 9 to 12

N:12

D:30

T:8w

Ac:B CA

Sc:I B 1

Attack medication as needed

Melchart et al. [58]

Tension-type headache

270

(8)%

Adequate

PMOM: Number of days with headache in weeks 9 to 12

N:12

D:30

T:8w

Ac:B CA

S:I B 1

Pain medication as needed

Molsberger et al. [59]

Chronic low-back pain

186

(6%)

Adequate

VAS pain intensity after 1 month (dichotomous PMOM)

N:12

D:30

T:4w

Ac:B CA

S:I C 1

Orthopedic rehabilitation programd

Suarez-Almazora et al. [64]

Osteoarthritis of the knee

535

(8%)

Adequateb

WOMAC pain scale at 3 months

N:12

D:20

T:6w

Ac:C CA

S:I C 1

NSAIDs and analgesics as before study

Witt et al. [67]

Osteoarthritis of the knee

294

(5%)

Adequate

PMOM: WOMAC total score after baseline at 8 weeks

N:12

D:30

T:8w

Ac:B CA

S:I B 1

NSAIDs if needed


aTwo sham groups with different context. bAdditional information received from author. cTreatment with intradermal needles. dClassified as intense cointervention likely to influence the outcome. PMOM, explicitly predefined (regarding type and timing) confirmatory main outcome measure; VAS, visual analogue scale; N, number of treatment sessions; D, duration of each treatment session; T, total duration of treatment in weeks; Ac, Acupuncture; S, sham intervention; A, individualized; B, semistandardized; C, standardized; CA, needling at classical acupuncture body points; EA, electroacupuncture (needles stimulated with electrical currency); EarA, ear acupuncture (needling at ear points); JA, Japanese acupuncture (superficial needling); TA, acupuncture at trigger points; I, penetrating; II, nonpenetrating; 1, needled outside known points; 2, acupuncture points not indicated for condition needled; 3, at correct points; NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; WOMAC, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.

Linde et al. BMC Medicine 2010 8:75   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-75

Open Data