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Pubmed-Standardizing and optimizing acupuncture treatment for irritable bowel syndrome: A Delphi expert consensus study


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Integr Med Res. 2021 Sep;10(3):100728. doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2021.100728. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acupuncture has been widely utilized for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, heterogeneity is large among therapeutic strategies and protocols. The aim of this study was to propose some down-to-earth recommendations and establish an optimized protocol for acupuncture practice in IBS.

METHODS: A panel of 74 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncturists participated in clinical issue investigation. Subsequently, systematic reviews concerning acupuncture for IBS were screened within 3 databases. An initial consensus questionnaire was formed from the results of clinical issue investigation and literature review. Ultimately, a Delphi vote was carried out to determine these issues. 30 authoritative experts with extensive experience were requested to respond with agreement, neutrality, or disagreement for the items. Consensus achievement on a given item was defined as greater than 80% agreement.

RESULTS: Following a 2-round Delphi survey, there were 19 items reaching consensus; of which 5 items (26.32%) achieved thorough consensus, and significant agreement was reached for the other 14 items. These items can be classified into the 3 major domains: 1) clinical outcomes that acupuncture can bring for favorable intervention population (5 items), 2) suitable therapeutic principles and parameters of acupuncture (13 items), 3) possible adverse events in the treatment (1 item).

CONCLUSION: Without any ready-made guidelines and lacking of homogeneity in the published literatures, such expert consensus could be valuable for TCM acupuncturists in daily practice and patients with IBS to obtain appropriate and standardized acupuncture treatment. In addition, it also points out the clinical focus which need to be further explored in future trials.

PMID:34307021 | PMC:PMC8296086 | DOI:10.1016/j.imr.2021.100728

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