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      Optimal Acupuncture Methods for Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Bayesian Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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          Abstract

          Background

          Nonspecific low back pain (NLBP) is a common disabling disease that cannot be attributed to a specific, recognizable pathology. The use of acupuncture for NLBP is supported by several guidelines and systematic reviews. However, the efficacy of different acupuncture methods for NLBP management is still debated. This study ranked the effectiveness of acupuncture methods using network meta-analysis to screen out the optimal acupuncture methods and expound the current controversies for their effective application in health policies as well as guiding clinical operations.

          Methods

          The following databases were searched for relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from inception to December 20, 2020: China National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP Database for Chinese Technical Periodicals, WANFANG Database, Chinese biomedical literature service system, PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane Library. Relevant registration platforms, including the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register (ISRCTN) and Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR), were also searched. Manual retrieval and tracking of references was also performed. Pairwise meta-analysis and Bayesian network meta-analysis using Revman and ADDIS, respectively, were performed and standardized mean differences examined. The primary outcome was visual analog scale (VAS) score and the secondary outcome was Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score. Safety was defined as the incidence of adverse events.

          Results

          A total of 30 trials with 3196 participants were analyzed; 16.67% of which showed a high risk of bias. The results indicated that fire acupuncture plus manual acupuncture, auricular needling, and electroacupuncture plus warm acupuncture were most effective in reducing VAS score. The most effective interventions for reducing ODI score were manual acupuncture plus conventional medicines, followed by moxibustion and manual acupuncture plus moxibustion. Manual acupuncture plus moxibustion was dominant in the cluster ranking. Acupuncture showed a lower incidence of adverse events (7.70%) than other interventions (conventional medicines, routine care, and placebo; 12.24%).

          Conclusion

          We found that manual acupuncture plus moxibustion is the most effective way to reduce NLBP pain and disability. Acupuncture is safer than other interventions. However, more direct comparative evidence from high-quality, large-sample, multicenter RCTs is needed to validate these findings.

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          Most cited references 63

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          The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate healthcare interventions: explanation and elaboration

          Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are essential to summarise evidence relating to efficacy and safety of healthcare interventions accurately and reliably. The clarity and transparency of these reports, however, are not optimal. Poor reporting of systematic reviews diminishes their value to clinicians, policy makers, and other users. Since the development of the QUOROM (quality of reporting of meta-analysis) statement—a reporting guideline published in 1999—there have been several conceptual, methodological, and practical advances regarding the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Also, reviews of published systematic reviews have found that key information about these studies is often poorly reported. Realising these issues, an international group that included experienced authors and methodologists developed PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses) as an evolution of the original QUOROM guideline for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of evaluations of health care interventions. The PRISMA statement consists of a 27-item checklist and a four-phase flow diagram. The checklist includes items deemed essential for transparent reporting of a systematic review. In this explanation and elaboration document, we explain the meaning and rationale for each checklist item. For each item, we include an example of good reporting and, where possible, references to relevant empirical studies and methodological literature. The PRISMA statement, this document, and the associated website (www.prisma-statement.org/) should be helpful resources to improve reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
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            Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997: results of a follow-up national survey.

            A prior national survey documented the high prevalence and costs of alternative medicine use in the United States in 1990. To document trends in alternative medicine use in the United States between 1990 and 1997. Nationally representative random household telephone surveys using comparable key questions were conducted in 1991 and 1997 measuring utilization in 1990 and 1997, respectively. A total of 1539 adults in 1991 and 2055 in 1997. Prevalence, estimated costs, and disclosure of alternative therapies to physicians. Use of at least 1 of 16 alternative therapies during the previous year increased from 33.8% in 1990 to 42.1% in 1997 (P < or = .001). The therapies increasing the most included herbal medicine, massage, megavitamins, self-help groups, folk remedies, energy healing, and homeopathy. The probability of users visiting an alternative medicine practitioner increased from 36.3% to 46.3% (P = .002). In both surveys alternative therapies were used most frequently for chronic conditions, including back problems, anxiety, depression, and headaches. There was no significant change in disclosure rates between the 2 survey years; 39.8% of alternative therapies were disclosed to physicians in 1990 vs 38.5% in 1997. The percentage of users paying entirely out-of-pocket for services provided by alternative medicine practitioners did not change significantly between 1990 (64.0%) and 1997 (58.3%) (P=.36). Extrapolations to the US population suggest a 47.3% increase in total visits to alternative medicine practitioners, from 427 million in 1990 to 629 million in 1997, thereby exceeding total visits to all US primary care physicians. An estimated 15 million adults in 1997 took prescription medications concurrently with herbal remedies and/or high-dose vitamins (18.4% of all prescription users). Estimated expenditures for alternative medicine professional services increased 45.2% between 1990 and 1997 and were conservatively estimated at $21.2 billion in 1997, with at least $12.2 billion paid out-of-pocket. This exceeds the 1997 out-of-pocket expenditures for all US hospitalizations. Total 1997 out-of-pocket expenditures relating to alternative therapies were conservatively estimated at $27.0 billion, which is comparable with the projected 1997 out-of-pocket expenditures for all US physician services. Alternative medicine use and expenditures increased substantially between 1990 and 1997, attributable primarily to an increase in the proportion of the population seeking alternative therapies, rather than increased visits per patient.
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              The PRISMA extension statement for reporting of systematic reviews incorporating network meta-analyses of health care interventions: checklist and explanations.

              The PRISMA statement is a reporting guideline designed to improve the completeness of reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Authors have used this guideline worldwide to prepare their reviews for publication. In the past, these reports typically compared 2 treatment alternatives. With the evolution of systematic reviews that compare multiple treatments, some of them only indirectly, authors face novel challenges for conducting and reporting their reviews. This extension of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) statement was developed specifically to improve the reporting of systematic reviews incorporating network meta-analyses. A group of experts participated in a systematic review, Delphi survey, and face-to-face discussion and consensus meeting to establish new checklist items for this extension statement. Current PRISMA items were also clarified. A modified, 32-item PRISMA extension checklist was developed to address what the group considered to be immediately relevant to the reporting of network meta-analyses. This document presents the extension and provides examples of good reporting, as well as elaborations regarding the rationale for new checklist items and the modification of previously existing items from the PRISMA statement. It also highlights educational information related to key considerations in the practice of network meta-analysis. The target audience includes authors and readers of network meta-analyses, as well as journal editors and peer reviewers.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                jpr
                jpainres
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove
                1178-7090
                20 April 2021
                2021
                : 14
                : 1097-1112
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Acu-Mox and Tuina, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Chengdu, 610075, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Chengdu, 610075, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ling Zhao; Yanming Lin Email zhaoling@cdutcm.edu.cn; linyanming@cdutcm.edu.cn
                Article
                310385
                10.2147/JPR.S310385
                8068518
                © 2021 Wang et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 12, Tables: 5, References: 63, Pages: 16
                Funding
                Funded by: the General Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China;
                Funded by: the National Key Research and Development Program of China;
                This project was financially supported by the General Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81973962), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2019YFC1709701) and the Key Research and Development Program of Sichuan Science and Technology (No. 2019YFS0011).
                Categories
                Review

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