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Assessing the Quality of Reports about Randomized Controlled Trials of Acupuncture Treatment on Mild Cognitive Impairment
Published: Friday, February 25, 2011
Author: Xiao Lu et al.

by Xiao Lu, Shang Hongcai, Wang Jiaying, Hu Jing, Xiong Jun


To evaluate the reports' qualities which are about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of acupuncture treatment on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MIC).


Nine databases including the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL,2010), PUBMED (1984-5/2010), EMbase (1984-5/2010), MEDLINE (1984-5/2010), CINAL (1984-5/2010), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI, 1980-5/2010), China Biomedicine Database disc (CBMdisc, 1980-5/2010), VIP (a full text issues database of China, 1989-5/2010) were searched systematically. Hand search for further references was conducted. Language was limited to Chinese and English. We identified 14 RCTs that used acupuncture as an intervention and assessed the quality of these reports against the Consolidated Standards for Reporting of Trials (CONSORT) statement and Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA).


In regard to the items in the CONSORT statement, 13(92.86%) RCTs described baseline demographic and clinical characteristics in each group. 7 (50.0%) mentioned the method of generating the random sequence, only 2 (14.3%) RCTs had adequate allocation concealment. No RCTs used blinding. RCTs reported the sample size calculation. In regard to the items in STRICTA, 10 (71.43%) mentioned the depths of insertion, 6 (42.86%) reported acupuncture response, 11 (78.57%) mentioned the technique of acupuncture, 12 (85.71%) recorded the time, and only 3 (21.43%) RCTs reported the numbers of needles inserted. No RCTs reported the background of the acupuncture practitioners and professional title of practitioners.


The reporting quality of RCTs of acupuncture for mild cognitive impairment was moderate to low. The CONSORT statement and STRICTA should be used to standardize the reporting of RCTs of acupuncture in future.