NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
Record ID 32002000384
Authors' objectives:

This bulletin aims to summarise the available evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture.

Authors' recomendations: - Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific points (acupoints) on the skin, usually by the insertion of needles. It is widely used in both private and NHS settings. It has been estimated that one million acupuncture treatments are given on the NHS and two million in the private sector in England each year. - In the West, acupuncture is most commonly used for the treatment of chronic pain, particularly musculoskeletal complaints. Whilst there are many RCTs evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture, the majority are of poor quality and provide conflicting evidence. - Acupuncture appears to be effective for postoperative nausea and vomiting in adults, chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting and for postoperative dental pain. - Current evidence suggests that acupuncture is unlikely to be of benefit for obesity, smoking cessation and tinnitus. For most other conditions, the available evidence is insufficient to guide clinical decisions. - Acupuncture appears a relatively safe treatment in the hands of suitably qualified practitioners, with serious adverse events being extremely rare.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Complementary Therapies
Organisation Name: University of York
Contact Address: University of York, York, Y01 5DD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1904 321040, Fax: +44 1904 321041,
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.