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Acupuncture for lateral elbow pain

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2002
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (83rd percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
1 blog
3 tweeters
2 Wikipedia pages
1 Q&A thread


132 Dimensions

Readers on

160 Mendeley
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Acupuncture for lateral elbow pain
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2002
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd003527
Pubmed ID

Sally Green, Rachelle Buchbinder, Les Barnsley, Stephen Hall, Millicent White, Nynke Smidt, Willem JJ Assendelft


This review is one in a series of reviews of interventions for lateral elbow pain. Lateral elbow pain, or tennis elbow, is a common condition causing pain in the elbow and forearm and lack of strength and function of the elbow and wrist. Acupuncture has long been used to treat lateral elbow pain in China and in Western countries practitioners and consumers are increasingly exploring acupuncture as a first line treatment for musculoskeletal disorders. No previous systematic review of the available evidence has been conducted to determine whether acupuncture is efficacious in the treatment lateral elbow pain. To determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of adults with lateral elbow pain with respect to pain reduction, improvement in function, grip strength and adverse effects. We searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and SCISEARCH and the Cochrane Clinical Trials Register and the Musculoskeletal Review Group's specialist trial database from 1966 to June 2001. Identified keywords and authors were searched in an effort to retrieve as many trials as possible. Two independent reviewers assessed all identified trials against pre-determined inclusion criteria. Randomised and pseudo randomised trials in all languages were included in the review provided they were testing acupuncture compared to placebo or another intervention in adults with lateral elbow pain (tennis elbow). Outcomes of interest were pain, function, disability, quality of life, strength, participant satisfaction with treatment and adverse effect. For continuous variables means and standard deviations were extracted or imputed to allow the analysis of weighted mean difference, while for binary data numbers of events and total population were analysed and interpreted as relative risks. Trial results were combined only in the absence of clinical and statistical heterogeneity. Four small randomized controlled trials were included but due to flaws in study designs (particularly small populations, uncertain allocation concealment and substantial loss to follow up) and clinical differences between trials, data from trials could not be combined in a meta-analysis. One randomised controlled trial found that needle acupuncture results in relief of pain for significantly longer than placebo (WMD = 18.8 hours, 95%CI 10.1 to 27.5) and is more likely to result in a 50% or greater reduction in pain after 1 treatment (RR 0.33, 95%CI 0.16 to 0.69) (Molsberger 1994). A second randomized controlled trial demonstrated needle acupuncture to be more likely to result in overall participant reported improvement than placebo in the short term (RR = 0.09 95% CI 0.01 to 0.64) (Haker 1990a). No significant differences were found in the longer term (after 3 or 12 months). A randomized controlled trial of laser acupuncture versus placebo demonstrated no differences between laser acupuncture and placebo with respect to overall benefit (Haker 1990b). A fourth included trial published in Chinese demonstrated no difference between Vitamin B12 injection plus acupuncture, and Vitamin B12 injection alone (Wang 1997). There is insufficient evidence to either support or refute the use of acupuncture (either needle or laser) in the treatment of lateral elbow pain. This review has demonstrated needle acupuncture to be of short term benefit with respect to pain, but this finding is based on the results of 2 small trials, the results of which were not able to be combined in meta-analysis. No benefit lasting more than 24 hours following treatment has been demonstrated. No trial assessed or commented on potential adverse effect. Further trials, utilising appropriate methods and adequate sample sizes, are needed before conclusions can be drawn regarding the effect of acupuncture on tennis elbow.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 160 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 4 3%
United States 2 1%
Guatemala 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Philippines 1 <1%
Norway 1 <1%
India 1 <1%
Unknown 149 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 33 21%
Student > Bachelor 28 18%
Researcher 21 13%
Other 16 10%
Student > Postgraduate 16 10%
Other 43 27%
Unknown 3 2%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 97 61%
Nursing and Health Professions 27 17%
Unspecified 16 10%
Sports and Recreations 5 3%
Psychology 4 3%
Other 8 5%
Unknown 3 2%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 31. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 July 2019.
All research outputs
of 13,441,497 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 10,596 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 12,781,391 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 9,791 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,441,497 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,596 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.9. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 12,781,391 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 9,791 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its contemporaries.