Acupuncture Evidence Underused in Clinical Practice & Healthcare Policy

The British Medical Journal has published research suggesting that clinical practice and healthcare policy underuse acupuncture treatment, despite rigorous systematic reviews documenting high or moderate certainty evidence. A team of Chinese authors identified 2471 systematic reviews published between 2000 and 2020. They concluded that a majority were methodologically rigorous, and a substantial portion provided moderate or high certainty evidence.

The team recommends that in their decision-making, health bodies make better use of the evidence for acupuncture’s effectiveness. Evidence should be better disseminated to clinicians and patients. Clinicians, researchers and funders should set joint research agendas. Researchers and granting agencies should focus on areas where acupuncture has shown large effects supported with low certainty evidence, and avoid research in areas where moderate or high certainty evidence has already proven the benefit of acupuncture.

(Evidence on acupuncture therapies is underused in clinical practice and healthcare policy. BMJ, 25 February 2022.)