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Acupuncture and other physical treatments for osteoarthritis: network meta-analysis (OAK Project)

The aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of acupuncture with other physical treatments for alleviating pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee.

Led by researchers based at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, we have carried out a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, comparing physical treatments with each other, with standard care, placebo, or no treatment.

Of the 156 eligible studies, 114 trials covering 22 treatments and 9,709 patients provided data suitable for analysis. The results show that acupuncture is associated with the most high-quality trials and outperforms sham acupuncture as well as most other physical therapies.


Funder(s): NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research
Start Date: 2009


Internal Staff

  • Hugh MacPherson

External Collaborators

  • Mark Corbett
  • Steve Rice
  • Nerys Woolacott

Health Services Policy Research in the Department of Health Sciences