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Table 1 Systematic reviews on moxibustion for health care

From: Does moxibustion work? An overview of systematic reviews

First author Year (Ref) Condition No. of primary studies Methodological quality of primary studies Quality of SR OQAQ* Meta-analysis Conclusion (quote) Authors' result
Kim (2010) [3] Various conditions 48 RCTs Poor 5 Ulcerative colitis 1) Moxa vs. drug (2 RCTs), RR, 2.20, 95% CIs,1.37 to 3.52, P = 0.001, I2 = 0% 2) Moxa vs. wait control (2 RCTs), RR, 1.19, 95CIs, 0.88 to 1.60, P = 0.26, I2 = 40% 3) Moxa plus postual care vs. postual care, RR, 1.51, 95%CIs, 1.10 to 2.08, P = 0.01, I2 = 86% Our results did not support the effectiveness of moxibustion in specific disease +/-
Coyle (2005) [7] Breech presentation 3 RCTs Poor 7 None There is insufficient evidence to support ... +/-
Li (2009) [8] Breech presentation 17(10 RCTs and 7 CCTs) Poor 7 1) Moxa vs. no treatment (3 RCTs), RR, 135, 95%CIs, 1.20 to 1.51, P < 0.00001 2) Moxa vs. knee-chest position (3 RCTs), RR, 1.30, 95%CIs, 0.95 to 1.79, P = 0.1 3) Moxa plus other treatment vs. other treatment (2 RCTs), RR, 1.36, 95%CIs, 1.21 to 1.54, P < 0.00001 ...tend to be effective... +
Vas (2009) [9] Breech presentation 7 RCTs Variable 7 Moxa vs. control (6 studies), RR, 1.36, 95% CIs, 1.17 to 1.58, P < 0.0001 Moxibustion at ...BL67 has been shown to produce a positive effect... +
Lee (2010) [10] Ulcerative colitis 5 RCTs Poor 7 Moxa vs. drug (5 RCTs), RR, 1.24, 95% CIs, 1.11 to 1.38, P < 0.0001, I2 = 16% Current evidence is insufficient ... +/-
Lee (2010) [11] Cancer 5 RCTs Poor 6 Moxa plus chemotherapy vs. chemotherapy 1) Response rate (4 RCTs), RR, 1.04, 95% CIs, 0.94 to 1.15, P = 0.43, I2 = 26% 2) Side effects (2 RCTs), RR, 0.38, 95% CIs, 0.22 to 0.65, P = 0.0005, I2 = 0% The evidence is limited to suggest moxibustion is an effective supportive cancer care in nausea and vomiting. +
Lee (2010) [12] Stroke rehabilitation 9 RCTs Poor 5 Moxa vs. standard care 1) Motor function (3RCTs), SMD, 0.72, 95% CIs, 0.37 to 1.08, P < 0.0001, I2 = 5% 2) Activities of daily living (3 RCTs), SMD, 0.51, 95%CIs, -0.08 to 1.10, P = 0.09, I2 = 62% ...found limited effectiveness of moxibustion as an adjunct to standard care... +
Lee (2010) [13] Pain conditions 4 RCTs Poor 7 Osteoarthritis: Moxa vs. drug (2 RCTs), RR, 1.11, 95%CIs, 1.02 to 1.21, P = 0.02, I2 = 3% ...limited evidence ... in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee and other pain condition +
Lee (2010) [14] Constipation 3 RCTs Poor 3 None ... evidence is scarce and insufficient to suggest... +/-
Kim (2010) [15] Hypertension 4 RCTs Poor 5 None There is insufficient... +/-
  1. This was relied on the original authors' judgment;* Overview quality assessment questionnaire (OQAQ). The overall score is from 1 to 7. OQAQ ≤ 3: having extensive or major flaws; 5 ≤ OQAQ: having minor or minimal flaws. +: overall positive; -: fail to show effectiveness; +/-: unclear. SR: systematic review; RCT: randomized controlled trial; CCT: non-randomized controlled trial.