- The researchers searched 7 electronic databases from their inception until 31 September 2016.
- They enrolled all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) incorporating acupuncture or acupuncture combined with other interventions for the treatment of dysphagia after stroke.
- Then they were extracted and evaluated by 2 independent evaluators.
- In RevMan 5.3.0 software, direct comparisons were conducted.
- The researchers included 6010 patients of 71 papers.
- The pooled analysis of efficacy rate of 58 studies demonstrated that with moderate heterogeneity, acupuncture group was superior to the control group (RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.13 1.21, Z = 9.08, and P < 0.00001).
- Meta-analysis of the studies using blind method revealed that with no heterogeneity, the efficacy rate of acupuncture group was 3.01 times that of the control group (RR = 3.01, 95% CI: 1.95 4.65, Z = 4.97, and P < 0.00001).
- In this investigation, only 13 studies mentioned the safety evaluation.