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The Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR) is a bibliography of publications that report on methods used in the conduct of controlled trials. It includes journal articles, books, and conference proceedings, and the content is sourced from MEDLINE and hand searches. CMR contains studies of methods used in reviews and more general methodological studies that could be relevant to anyone preparing systematic reviews. CMR records contain the title of the article, information on where it was published (bibliographic details), and, in some cases, a summary of the article. They do not contain the full text of the article.

The CMR was produced by the Cochrane UK, until 31st May 2012. There are currently no plans to reinstate the CMR and it is not receiving updates.* If you have any queries, please contact the Cochrane Community Service Team (

The Publishers, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, thanks Update Software for the continued use of their data formats in the Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR).

*Last update in January 2019.

The clinical effectiveness of acupuncture for pain relief - you can be certain of uncertainty.
Johnson MI
Acupuncture in Medicine
Date of publication

Nowadays the volume of published research is so overwhelming that practitioners are turning to expert groups to interpret and summarise research for them. This paper critically reviews the processes used to establish one-sentence statements about the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain relief. Some one-sentence statements claim that acupuncture is not clinically effective because systematic reviews of clinical trials find similar amounts of pain relief between sham acupuncture and real acupuncture. However, these one-sentence statements fail to account for shortcomings in clinical trials such as inadequate doses and inappropriate acupuncture technique. Establishing the physiological intention of acupuncture and developing criteria to assess whether this has been achieved in trials will help to overcome some of these problems in future trials. In addition, shortcomings in systematic review methodology such as imprecise inclusion criteria, comparisons of heterogeneous study populations and imprecise definitions of acupuncture have resulted in discrepancies in vote counting of outcomes between review groups. Recognition of these issues has produced a shift in favour of acupuncture in recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses. It is hoped that this will be reflected in a reappraisal of some of the negative one-sentence statements about the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain relief.

CMR keywords
CMR: Review methodololgy - systematic reviews - comparisons;CMR: Review methodology - applicability & recommendations - assessments of the impact of research;CMRA3
Reference typeJournal article