Table 1

Characteristics of the included RCTs

StudyLocationAge (years)Number of patients (acupuncture/control)Treatment groupControl groupTotal acupuncture sessionsMain outcome measuresDuration of intervention (weeks)
Berman et al 43 USAT: 65.7 (8.0)
C: 65.5 (9.1)
73 (37/36)AcupunctureStandard care (oral therapy)16WOMAC pain scale
AEs
12
Berman et al 44 USAT: 65.2 (8.4)
C: 65.1 (8.8)
379 (190/189)AcupunctureEducation23WOMAC pain scale
SF-36 PCS
AEs
26
Manheimer et al 45
Bernateck et al 46 GermanyT: 51.1 (13.2)
C: 52.2 (11.2)
37 (19/18)Auricular EAAutogenic training6VAS
AEs
6
Dong et al 47 ChinaT: 58.3 (7.2)
C: 57.8 (7.2)
200 (100/100)Acupuncture + sodium hyaluronateSodium hyaluronate4VAS4
Fu and Zhang48 ChinaT: 59.3 (12.3)
C: 58.0 (11.6)
120 (60/60)AcupunctureGlucosamine hydrochloride capsules20WOMAC pain scale
SF-36 PCS
SF-36 MCS
AEs
4
Fu and Li49 ChinaT: 85 (4)
C: 85 (5)
60 (30/30)EAIbuprofen20VAS3
Hinman et al 50 AustraliaT: 64.3 (8.6)
C: 62.7 (8.7)
141 (70/71)AcupunctureNo treatment8–12WOMAC pain scale
NRS
SF-12 PCS
SF-12 MCS
AEs
12
Itoh et al 51 Japan62–8316 (8/8)AcupunctureNo treatment5VAS5
Lansdown et al 52 UKT: 62.9 (8.0)
C: 64.2 (8.5)
30 (15/15)Acupuncture +
usual care
Usual care (medications and interventions)10WOMAC pain scale
SF-36 PCS
AEs
10
Mavrommatis et al 53 GreeceT: 62.3 (9.9)
C: 63.0 (10.6)
80 (40/40)Acupuncture + etoricoxibEtoricoxib4WOMAC pain scale
VAS
8
Saleki et al 54 Iran40–6540 (20/20)AcupunctureIsometric exercises12VAS4
Sangdee et al 55 ThailandT: 65.1 (3.4)
C: 62.1 (7.5)
97 (48/49)EAEtoricoxib)12WOMAC pain scale
VAS
AEs
4
Tukmachi et al 56 UKT: 61
C: 61
20 (10/10)AcupunctureNo treatment10WOMAC pain scale
VAS
5
Williamson et al 57 UKT: 72.4 (7.7)
C: 69.6 (10.0)
121 (60/61)AcupunctureHome exercises6VAS
AEs
6
Witt et al 58 GermanyT: 64.5 (6.4)
C: 63.4 (6.6)
219 (149/70)AcupunctureWaiting list12WOMAC pain scale
SF-36 PCS
SF-36 MCS
AEs
12
Witt et al 59 GermanyT: 60.6 (10.2)
C: 61.9 (10.6)
463 (235/228)AcupunctureWaiting list15WOMAC pain scale
SF-36 PCS
SF-36 MCS
AEs
12
Christensen et al 60 Denmark69.2 (48–75)29 (14/15)AcupunctureWaiting list6VAS9
Ng et al 61 China (Hong Kong)T: 84.4 (6.5)
C: 85.0 (6.9)
24 (8/8)EATENS8NRS2
  • AE, adverse event; C, control group; EA, electroacupuncture; MCS, Mental Component Summary; NR, not reported; NRS, 11-point numeric rating scale; PCS, Physical Component Summary; SF-12, 12-Item Short Form Health Survey; SF-36, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey; T, treatment group; TENS, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; VAS, visual analogue scale; WOMAC, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.