A new meta-analysis of acupuncture in JACM – no prizes for guessing the conclusion
I have repeatedly cautioned about the often poor quality of research into alternative medicine. This seems particularly necessary with studies of acupuncture, and especially true for such research carried out in China. I have also frequently noted that certain 'CAM journals' are notoriously prone to publishing rubbish. So, what can we expect from a paper that: is on alternative medicine, focusses on acupuncture, is authored by Chinese researchers, was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM)? The answer is PROBABLY NOT A LOT! As if for confirming my prediction, The JACM just published this systematic review. It reports pairwise and network meta-analyses to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture and acupuncture-related techniques for the treatment of psoriasis. A total of 13 RCTs were included. The methodological quality of these studies was 'not rigorous' according to the authors - in fact, it was lousy. Acupoint stimulation seemed to be more