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Table 1 Summary of controlled clinical studies of Guasha for musculoskeletal pain conditions

From: Using Guasha to treat musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review of controlled clinical trials

First author (year) Design/sample size Conditions Intervention group (regime) Main outcomes Results
Tang (2008) [5] RCT/120 Fibromyalgia syndrome (A) Guasha (n.r., once per 3 days, 5 times total, n = 60) (B) AT (30 min, once daily, 15 times, n = 60) 1) VAS (100 mm) 2) Number of pain points 3) Response rate 1) MD, -9.5, 95% CIs (-14.5 to -4.5) P < 0.0002 in favor of A 2) MD, -5.0, 95% CIs (-6.5 to -3.5), P < 0.0001 in favor of A 3) (A) 29/16/10/8; (B) 10/8/12/20 Improved 1.3 [0.94, 1.13], P = 0.01 Recovery 2.9 [1.55, 5.41], P = 0.0008
Chen (1995) [6] RCT/90 Neck stiffness (A) Guasha (20 min, once per 3~7 days, n.r., n = 30) (B) Massage (10 min, n = 30) (C) Electric current therapy (10 min, n = 30) Response rate (A) 27/1/2/0; (B) 27/2/1/0; (C) 28/1/1/0 NS NS
Ma (2003) [7] RCT/50 Cervical spondylosis (A) Guasha (1 session = n.r., once per 2 days, total 10 times, n = 15) (B) Herbal injection (once daily, total 20 times, n = 35) Response rate (A) 0/7/6/2; (B) 0/25/7/1 Improved 0.92 [0.74, 1.14], NS Recovery N/A
Wu (1996) [8] RCT/100 Cervical spondylosis (A) Guasha (n.r., once per 2 days, total 10 times, n = 72) (B) No treatment (n = 28) Response rate (A) 39/0/28/5; (B) 14/0/8/6 Improved 1.18 [0.97, 1.45], NS Recovery 1.08 [0.71, 1.66], NS
Li (1996) [9] RCT/60 Scapulohumeral periarthritis (A) Guasha (n.r., once per 4~5 days, total 5 times, n = 30) (B) AT (20 min, once daily, total 10 times, n = 30) Response rate (A) 18/8/4/0; (B) 10/10/8/2 Improved 1.07 [0.96, 1.20], NS Recovery 1.8 [1.00, 3.25], P = 0.05
Guo (1995) [10] CCT/76 Cervical spondylosis (A) Guasha (1 session = 20 min, once per 3 days, total 10 times, 2 session, n = 38) (B) AT (1 session = 30 min, once per 2 days, total 10 times, 2 session, n = 38) Response rate (A) 29/6/2/1;(B) 19/7/9/3 Improved 1.06 [0.95, 1.18], NS Recovery 1.53 [1.06, 2.20], P = 0.02
Wang (2004) [11] CCT/240 Lumbar disc herniation (A) Guasha (1 session = n.r., once per 7 days, total 3 times, 3 session, n = 160) (B) AT plus moxa (n = 80) Response rate (A) 32/69/45/14;(B) 11/27/33/9 Improved 1.03 [0.94, 1.13], NS Recovery 1.45 [0.77, 2.73], NS
  1. n.r.: not reported; NS: no significance; AT: acupuncture; RCT: randomized controlled trial; CCT: controlled clinical trial; VAS: visual analog scale
  2. Response rate was divided to four categories: (1) recovery, (2) marked improvement, (3) improvement and (4) no change
  3. We re-calculated the significance with RevMan for two categories: improved cases and recovery cases of each group.
  4. The original authors reported a statistical significance for these studies (P < 0.05).