May 30, 2017
RAND researchers conducted a systematic review that synthesized evidence from randomized controlled trials of needle acupuncture — used adjunctively or as monotherapy — to provide estimates of its efficacy and safety for treating adults diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder.
RAND researchers conducted a systematic review that synthesized evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of needle acupuncture — used adjunctively or as monotherapy — to provide estimates of its efficacy and safety for treating adults diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Outcomes of interest included PTSD symptoms (primary outcome), health-related quality of life, functional status, anxiety and depression symptoms, sleep quality, and adverse events. Meta-analyses were conducted using the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman method for random-effects models. Quality of evidence was assessed using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.
Seven studies with 709 total participants were included. We identified potential benefits of acupuncture for PTSD and depression symptoms compared with control groups in the months following treatment, although the quality of the evidence underpinning these estimates is limited. Few minor adverse events and no serious adverse events were reported, but safety assessments were limited. Additional well-designed, rigorous, and large RCTs have the potential to further develop the evidence base to provide more-conclusive evidence.
Cochrane Risk of Bias Criteria
Excluded Full-Text Articles
Evidence Table of Included Studies