Articles were eligible for inclusion in the review if they reported a clinical trial in which patients with gastrointestinal disorders were treated with acupuncture point stimulation. Articles not presenting the full report of a clinical trial were excluded.
Selected studies included randomised and non-randomised controlled trials and uncontrolled before-and-after studies. Gastrointestinal disorders treated in these trials included irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, gastroparesis, chronic superficial gastritis, chronic obstipation, stomach carcinoma pain and achalasia.
Included studies gave particpants between one and 20 sessions. Treatment duration lasted up to two months. Outcomes measured included: quality of life, symptoms, perception threshold, serum parameters, analgesic effects and imaging findings.
The authors stated neither how the papers were selected for the review nor how many reviewers performed the selection.