Reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of acupuncture: the PRISMA-A statement




Poster session 3


Tuesday 18 September 2018 - 12:30 to 14:00

All authors in correct order:

Wang X1, Chen Y1, Liu Y1, Yao L2, Estill J3, Bian Z2, Wu T4, Shang H5, Yang K1, Moher D6
1 Evidence-Based Medicine Centre, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, China
2 Clinical Division, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, China
3 Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland
4 Chinese Cochrane Centre, Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Centre, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China
5 Dongzhimen Hospital of Beijing, University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
6 Centre for Journalology, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Xiaoqin Wang

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: The number of acupuncture systematic reviews and meta-analyses (SR/MAs) is increasing rapidly, whereas the reporting quality of SR/MAs is poor. We need reporting criteria to improve this situation.

Objectives: To develop an extension of the PRISMA statement for acupuncture to improve the reporting quality of acupuncture SR/MAs.

Methods: We used the PRISMA statement as a starting point and conducted this study referring to a development strategy recommended by the EQUATOR network. We applied a four-step method: 1) assess acupuncture SR/MAs and relevant reporting guidelines; 2) investigate the information need from the perspectives of clinicians, researchers, masters and doctors; 3) employ a three-round Delphi process to select items; and 4) conduct a face-to-face meeting. After the consensus process, the PRISMA-A was reviewed by our advisory experts from Canada, Hong Kong (China), Korea and Japan, respectively.

Results: Finally, we created a checklist of 13 extension items with corresponding explanation and elaboration (E&E) documents. The extension items were: one for title, one for rationale, five for eligibility criteria, one for literature search, three for data extraction and two for study characteristics. In addition, for two items about data sources and the follow-up time and time of outcome determination in study characteristics, we made further elaborations rather than extended items to improve their relevance to acupuncture as an intervention.

Conclusions: The PRISMA–A checklist identifies a set of items to be reported when reviewing acupuncture treatments. This extension has been developed to improve the reporting of SR/MAs of acupuncture interventions.

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: No.

Relevance to patients and consumers: 

Acupuncture has become increasingly common worldwide used worldwide. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (SRMAs) are essential resource for healthcare decision makers. A SR is most credible when transparently reported; this is an essential step in any replication efforts. Acupuncture SRMAs have been increasingly published, but the reporting was unsatisfactory. As the evidence base of clinical practice guidelines for optimizing patient care, SRMAs with incomplete information reported will limit the use of evidence, and sometimes even incur biased results, which could negatively affect recommendations and the practice for patient.