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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
JHY and QHZ contributed equally to this work. JHY will select the studies, extract the data, assess the risk of bias, and design the study. XXZ will select the studies and extract the data. QHZ will select the studies, extract the data, assess the risk of bias, and design the study. ZRS will assess the risk of bias. BG will assess the risk of bias and design the study. All authors contributed to the further writing of the manuscript as well as read and approved the final manuscript.
This study aims to investigate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for patients with chronic neck pain.
The MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, CINAHL, and the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP Information, and Wanfang Data databases will be searched from their inception to present. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of acupuncture (assessed as the sole treatment or as an adjunct treatment) for chronic neck pain will be included. The primary outcome is chronic neck pain measured by the visual analogue scale (VAS), McGill Pain Questionnaire, or short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire. The secondary outcomes will include the functional recovery, health-related quality of life, psychological improvements related to the reduction of pain, and adverse events. Two authors will perform the study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment independently. Any disagreements will be resolved through discussion with a third author. Methodological quality of the included trials will be evaluated by the Cochrane risk-of-bias criteria, and the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture checklist will be used to assess completeness of reporting.
The results of this systematic review will provide the latest evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain, which will benefit both practitioners and policymakers.
Systematic review registration