Efficacy and safety of acupuncture for elderly patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis.
Xia, Q, Gao, H, Xian, J, Yan, X, Zhou, Y, Lu, Y, Ma, Y
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BACKGROUND The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture therapy for elderly patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS Relevant articles from December 2019 to December 2020 will be searched in the following electronic databases: Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), China Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), and China Scientific Journals Database. All published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and credible clinical observations about this topic will be included. Two independent researchers will operate article retrieval, duplication removing, screening and data analysis by EndNote X9.0 and Stata 15.0. We will use the Cochrane risk of bias tool for randomized trials to assess the risk of bias of included studies. Meta-analysis, subgroup analysis, and/or descriptive analysis will be performed according to the data conditions included. RESULTS High-quality synthesis and/or descriptive analysis of current evidence will be provided from mortality rate, cure rate, C-reactive protein (CRP), creatine, troponin, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and improvements in chest CT scans, clinical symptoms (including fever, fatigue, cough, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea) and the side effects of acupuncture. CONCLUSION This study will provide evidence of whether acupuncture is an effective and safe intervention for the elderly with COVID-19. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER CRD42020225245.