BMJ open 2018 04 048(4) e019798 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019798
Previous reviews indicate that the effect of acupuncture on stable angina pectoris (SAP) remains controversial. The results of trials published in the past 5 years may possibly change this situation, but an updated systematic review is not available. We therefore designed this study to systematically assess the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for treating SAP.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS
Nine online databases will be searched without language or publication status restrictions from their inception to September 2017. Randomised controlled trials that include patients with stable angina receiving acupuncture therapy versus a control group will be deemed eligible. The selection of studies, data extraction and risk of bias assessment will be carried out by two independent reviewers. Data synthesis will be performed using RevMan V.5.3 software with either a fixed effects model or random effects model, depending on the heterogeneity test. Evidence quality will be evaluated using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system. The efficacy-effectiveness spectrum for each included trial will be rated using the Rating of Included Trials on the Efficacy-effectiveness Spectrum tool. Outcomes of interest include the improvement of weekly angina attacks and reduction of nitroglycerin medication use after receiving acupuncture treatment, the incidence of cardiovascular events, heart rate variability, pain intensity measured on a visual analogue scale, total workload and exercise duration at peak exercise, safety and adverse events. A meta-analysis will be conducted if no considerable heterogeneity is detected. The results will be presented as risk ratios with 95% CIs for dichotomous data and weighted mean differences or standardised mean differences with 95% CIs for continuous data.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION
This systematic review will not involve private information from individuals or endanger their rights, and therefore does not necessarily require ethical approval. The results may be published in a peer-reviewed journal or disseminated in relevant conferences.
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