CAM Trials for Systematic Review identified

CAM Trials for Systematic Review identified

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The Cochrane Central register of Complementary Medical ‘controlled’ trials has been updated.

Whereas there were 5,000 eligible trials on the register in 2006, this had now reached 44,840 (by 2011, where the analysis was ‘frozen’).

A study has been undertaken on this database to describe the sources and characteristics of the citations included in this CAM Field specialised register.

The results include trials sourced from both MEDLINE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), as well as trial citations from what they called “international collaborators”.

The analysis looked at the frequency of publication as well as data about the  publication date, language, journal, presence in MEDLINE, type of intervention, and type of medical condition.

The results show that:

  • Most citations (60%) were from 2000 or later,
  • and the majority (71%) were reported in English;
  • the next most common language was Chinese (23%).
  • The journals with the greatest number of citations were CAM journals published in Chinese and non-CAM nutrition journals published in English.
  • More than one-third of register citations (36%) were not indexed in MEDLINE.
  • The most common CAM intervention type in the register was non-vitamin, non-mineral dietary supplements
    • (e.g ., glucosamine, fish oil) (34%),
    • followed by Chinese herbal medicines (e.g ., Astragalus membranaceus, Schisandra chinensis) (27%).
    • The reviewers conclude that this register provides a great opportunity for researchers to analyse these ‘new’ trials, but that in many cases the trials are low quality and readers need to be wary of their findings.



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