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Herbal medicine (Hyeolbuchukeo-tang or Xuefu Zhuyu decoction) for treating primary dysmenorrhoea: protocol for a systematic review of randomised controlled trials
  1. Junyoung Jo1,
  2. Jungtae Leem2,3,
  3. Jin Moo Lee4,
  4. Kyoung Sun Park4
  1. 1 Department of Korean Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology, Conmaul Hospital of Korean Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
  2. 2 Korean Medicine Clinical Trial Center, Kyung Hee University Korean Medicine Hospital, Seoul, South Korea
  3. 3 Department of Clinical Korean Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
  4. 4 Department of Korean Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kyoung Sun Park; lovepks0116{at}


Introduction Primary dysmenorrhoea is menstrual pain without pelvic pathology and is the most common gynaecological condition in women. Xuefu Zhuyudecoction (XZD) or Hyeolbuchukeo-tang, a traditional herbal formula, has been used as a treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea. The purpose of this study is to assess the current published evidence regarding XZD as treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea.

Materials and methods The following databases will be searched from their inception until April 2017: MEDLINE (via PubMed), Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, six Korean medical databases (Korean Studies Information Service System, DBPia, Oriental Medicine Advanced Searching Integrated System, Research Information Service System, Korea Med and the Korean Traditional Knowledge Portal), three Chinese medical databases (China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wan Fang Database and Chinese Scientific Journals Database (VIP)) and one Japanese medical database (CiNii). Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) that will be included in this systematic review comprise those that used XZD or modified XZD. The control groups in the RCTs include no treatment, placebo, conventional medication or other treatments. Trials testing XZD as an adjunct to other treatments and studies where the control group received the same treatment as the intervention group will be also included. Data extraction and risk of bias assessments will be performed by two independent reviewers. The risk of bias will be assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. All statistical analyses will be conducted using Review Manager software (RevMan V.5.3.0).

Ethics and dissemination This systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. The review will also be disseminated electronically and in print. The review will benefit patients and practitioners in the fields of traditional and conventional medicine.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42016050447.

  • dysmenorrhoea
  • systematic review
  • Herbal medicine
  • protocol

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

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  • JJ and JL are co-first authors.

  • Contributors The study was conceptualized by JJ. The protocol was drafted by JJ and JL. The search strategy was developed by JL and JJ. JML and KSP revised the manuscript. JL submitted the manuscript for publication. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study is supported by the Traditional Korean Medicine R&D program that is funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI, grant HB16C0018).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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