Exercise: The analgesic effect of acupuncture, answer 6

Question 6: What conclusions could we draw about the effect of acupuncture on pain?

Suggested answer:

There is strong evidence that, on the whole, acupuncture reduces pain. It may not work in all the conditions studied. For example, the only migraine study found no suggestion of an effect. There is evidence that the effect varies, from the heterogeneity test.

The magnitude of the effect is small. The estimated reduction is only 0.17 standard deviations with 95% confidence interval 0.08 to 0.26 standard deviations. This would usually be described as a small effect.

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