Acupuncture for asthma: Protocol for a systematic review

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Asthma is a common chronic disease in both adults and children. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and β2-agonists are the major medications treating asthma with many side effects. Acupuncture has been used in many diseases including asthma. We aim to assess the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for asthma.


The following electronical databases will be searched from inception to January 1, 2017: Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), SinoMed, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database (CNKI), the Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP database), and the Wanfang database. We will also search reference lists of identified studies, potential gray literatures, relevant conference abstracts, and registers of clinical trials. Two reviewers will independently undertake study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment. Data will be synthesized by either the fixed-effects or random-effects model according to a heterogeneity test. Changes in lung function will be assessed as the primary outcome. The level of control, medication usage, quality of life, exacerbations, symptoms, adverse events will be evaluated as the secondary outcomes. The RevMan V.5.3.5 will be employed for meta-analysis. Continuous outcomes will be presented as mean difference or standard mean difference, while dichotomous data will be expressed as relative risk.


This study will provide a high-quality synthesis of current evidence of acupuncture for asthma from several aspects including lung function, the level of control, medication usage, quality of life, exacerbations, symptoms and adverse events.


The conclusion of our study will provide updated evidence to judge whether acupuncture is an effective intervention for children with asthma.

Ethics and dissemination:

It is not necessary for ethical approval because individuals cannot be identified. The protocol will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal or presented at a relevant conference.

PROSPERO registration number:

PROSPERO CRD42017054562.

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