Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood psychiatric disorder with features of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. There is increasing interest in complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture; however, it remains unclear whether the use of acupuncture in children and adolescents with ADHD is supported by the existing evidence.
To assess the efficacy and safety of acupuncture as a treatment for ADHD in children and adolescents.
We searched CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 2); MEDLINE (21 May 2010); CINAHL (21 May 2010); EMBASE (21 May 2010); ERIC (21 May 2010); PsycINFO (21 May 2010), Chinese Biological Medicine Database (10 May 2010); Chinese Scientific Periodical Database of VIP INFORMATION (10 May 2010); China Periodical in China National Knowledge Infrastructure (10 May 2010); and Chinese Evidence-Based Medicine Database (10 May 2010). We handsearched Chinese language journals and conference proceedings.
Randomised controlled trials and quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing acupuncture with placebo or sham acupuncture, or conventional treatment. Participants under the age of 18 years with any type of ADHD were included. Papers in any language were included.
Data collection and analysis:
Two review authors (S Li, B Yu) independently determined the studies to be included in the review based on inclusion and exclusion criteria and extracted the data using pre-developed extraction forms. The risk of bias within the trials was assessed by the same review authors in relation to allocation concealment, blinding and withdrawals. The measures of ADHD outcomes were extracted from core symptoms rating scales and additional secondary outcomes were considered.
No studies met the inclusion criteria for this review.
A comprehensive search showed that there is no evidence base of randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials to support the use of acupuncture as a treatment for ADHD in children and adolescents. Due to the lack of trials, we cannot reach any conclusions about the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for ADHD in children and adolescents. This review highlights the need for further research in this area in the form of high quality, large scale, randomised controlled trials.
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