Eight databases will be searched with the language restrictions of English and Chinese from their inception to July 1, 2020. Randomized controlled trials comparing acupuncture versus artificial tears for DED treatment were enrolled. Identification, research inclusion, data extraction and assessment of the risk of bias were conducted independently by 2 or more reviewers. The primary outcomes were Schirmer I test and tear break-up time. We used Review Manager Software (v.5.3) for assessing the risk of bias and all statistical analyses.
Based on the evidence obtained, whether the effect of acupuncture was equal to or even better than that of artificial tear therapy in the treatment of DED would be elaborated.
In summary, this review would provide a relatively convincing conclusion on whether acupuncture deserves to be recommended as an adjunct treatment for DED, so as to propose some significant insights for the doctors handling with DED.