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Author Kim, J. I.; Choi, J. Y.; Lee, D. H.; Choi, T. Y.; Lee, M. S.; Ernst, E.
Title Acupuncture for the treatment of tinnitus: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials Type of Study Systematic Review
Year 2012 Publication BMC complementary and alternative medicine Abbreviated Journal BMC Complement Altern Med
Volume 12 Issue 1 Pages 97-
Keywords AcuTrials; Systematic Review; Ear Diseases; Tinnitus; Acupuncture
Abstract ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has frequently been used to treat tinnitus, and acupuncture is a particularly popular option. The objective of this review was to assess the evidence concerning the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for tinnitus. METHODS: Fourteen databases were searched from the dates of their creation to July 4th, 2012. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included if acupuncture was used as the sole treatment. The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess the risk of bias. RESULTS: A total of 9 RCTs met all the inclusion criteria. Their methodological quality was mostly poor. Five RCTs compared the effectiveness of acupuncture or electroacupuncture with sham acupuncture for treating tinnitus. The results failed to show statistically significant improvements. Two RCTs compared a short one-time scalp acupuncture treatment with the use of penetrating sham acupuncture at non-acupoints in achieving subjective symptom relief on a visual analog scale; these RCTs demonstrated significant positive effects with scalp acupuncture. Two RCTs compared acupuncture with conventional drug treatments. One of these RCTs demonstrated that acupuncture had statistically significant effects on the response rate in patients with nervous tinnitus, but the other RCT did not demonstrate significant effects in patients with senile tinnitus. CONCLUSIONS: The number, size and quality of the RCTs on the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of tinnitus are not sufficient for drawing definitive conclusions. Further rigorous RCTs that overcome the many limitations of the current evidence are warranted.
Address Medical Research Division, Korea Institiute f oriential Medicine, Daejeomn 305 811, South Korea
Language Number of Treatments
Treatment Follow-up Frequency (up) Number of Participants
Time in Treatment Condition Tinnitus
Disease Category Ear Diseases OCSI Score
Notes Approved no
Call Number Serial 570
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