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New Research Explores Evidence for Acupuncture Treatment of Meniere's

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A new study (doi:10.1093) that will be published in the journal Evidenced Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine systematically reviewed evidence in English and Chinese research literature of the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of Meniere's syndrome. The study's abstract is provided here;for a copy of the full article or a subscription to the journal, please visit: ecam.oxfordjournals.org/

Title: Exploring the Evidence Base for Acupuncture in the Treatment of Ménière's Syndrome—A Systematic Review

Authors: Andrew F. Long1, Mei Xing2, Ken Morgan3 and Alison Brettle4

1School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9UT, UK, 2School of Community Health Sciences and Social Care, University of Salford, Salford, UK, 3Acupuncturist, Bolton, UK and 4School of Nursing, University of Salford, Salford, UK

Abstract: Ménière's syndrome is a long-term, progressive disease that damages the balance and hearing parts of the inner ear. To address the paucity of information on which evidence-based treatment decisions should be made, a systematic review of acupuncture for Ménière's syndrome was undertaken. The method used was a systematic review of English and Chinese literature, from six databases for randomized, non-randomized and observational studies. All studies were critically appraised and a narrative approach to data synthesis was adopted. Twenty-seven studies were included in this review (9 in English and 18 in Chinese languages): three randomized controlled trials, three non-randomized controlled studies and four pre-test, post-test designs. All but one of the studies was conducted in China. The studies covered body acupuncture, ear acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, fluid acupuncture point injection and moxibustion. The studies were of varying quality.

The weight of evidence, across all study types, is of beneficial effect from acupuncture, for those in an acute phase or those who have had Ménière's syndrome for a number of years. The review reinforces the importance of searching for studies from English and Chinese literature. The transferability of the findings from China to a Western context needs confirmation. Further research is also needed to clarify questions around the appropriate frequency and number of treatment/courses of acupuncture. The weight of evidence suggests a potential benefit of acupuncture for persons with Ménière's disease, including those in an acute phase and reinforces the importance of searching for published studies in the Chinese language.

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