Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with or without follow-up were eligible for inclusion. The duration of follow-up ranged from 4 weeks to 6 months or more after the end of treatment.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that compared ESWT with placebo, no treatment or another treatment (either conservative or surgical) were eligible for inclusion. Studies that used ESWT as part of a multimodal treatment were excluded. Most of the included studies compared ESWT with sham therapy; other studies compared ESWT with steroid injection or another ESWT technique.
Participants included in the review
Studies of adults (aged 18 years and older) with tennis elbow were eligible for inclusion. The included studies were performed in male and female participants of varying ages. All of the studies excluded patients with co-existing neck or thorax complaints.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The primary review outcomes were:
pain (scales or descriptive words);
function (scales, tests or descriptive words); grip strength (pain-free or maximum); and
a global measure (overall improvement, proportions of patients recovered, or subjective improvement of symptoms).
The review also extracted data on adverse events.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
One researcher selected studies. The researcher was not blinded to the study author, place of publication or the results.