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Acupuncture for constipation in patients with stroke: protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Jingbo Zhai1,
  2. Wei Mu2,
  3. Jinhua Si3,
  4. Yan Li4,
  5. Chen Zhao5,
  6. Hongcai Shang6,
  7. Huanan Li7,8,
  8. Guihua Tian6
  1. 1 Research institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
  3. 3 Library, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
  4. 4 School of Nursing, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
  5. 5 Hong Kong Chinese Medicine Clinical Study Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
  6. 6 Key Laboratory of Chinese Internal Medicine of Ministry of Education and Beijing, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
  7. 7 First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
  8. 8 Laboratory for Biological Effects of Tuina, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Huanan Li; lihuanan1984{at} and Prof. Guihua Tian; Rosetgh{at}


Introduction Constipation is one of the most common complications in patients with stroke. Acupuncture has gained increased popularity for the management of constipation. However, there is a lack of supportive evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture for poststroke constipation. This systematic review aims to collect and critically appraise all the available evidence about the efficacy and safety of the acupuncture for constipation in poststroke patients.

Methods and analysis A comprehensive search of Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, four Chinese databases (National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Biomedical Literatures database (CBM), Wanfang Digital Periodicals (WANFANG) and Chinese Science and Technology Periodicals (VIP) database), one Japanese medical database (National Institute of Informatics, CiNii) and one Korean medical database (Oriental Medicine Advanced Searching Integrated System, OASIS) will be conducted to identify randomised controlled trials of acupuncture for constipation in poststroke patients. There is no restriction on language or publication status. The primary outcome measure will be frequency of bowel movement. The risk of bias will be assessed using the approach recommended by Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. We will conduct the meta-analysis to synthesise the evidence for each outcome, if possible. The heterogeneity will be statistically assessed using a χ2 test and I2 statistic. This protocol is developed following the guideline of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Protocols 2015.

Ethics and dissemination The ethical approval is not required because no primary data are collected. The findings will be presented at scientific conferences or a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42017076880.

  • stroke medicine
  • constipation
  • acupuncture
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis

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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  • Contributors JZ, HL and GT conceived the study; these three authors provided general guidance to the drafting of the protocol. JZ and WM drafted the protocol. JS designed the search strategy. JZ, YL, CZ and HS drafted the manuscript. JZ, WM, JS, YL, CZ, HL, GT and HS reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 81373762, 81603495, 81703936) and Beijing Nova Program (grant number xx2014B049).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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

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