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More evidence on effectiveness of acupuncture

The Acupuncture Evidence Project in Australia reviewed the most up-to-date evidence of efficacy of acupuncture for various conditions and found more clinical research evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture compared to previous reviews.
The level of evidence has increased over the 11-year period of this study for 24 conditions. Placebo-controlled clinical trials consistently underestimate the true effect size of acupuncture (which means that acupuncture is more effective than the type of trials used in this review show), yet they have still demonstrated National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Level I evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions.
In addition, research showed that acupuncture was cost effective for 10 conditions, and is safe in the hands of a well-trained practitioner.
The following conditions have the strongest evidence:

  • Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Headache (tension-type and chronic)
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Migraine
  • Postoperative nausea & vomiting
  • Postoperative pain

Source: McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A comparative literature review. Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association, 2017.

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