Prospective studies that evaluated needle acupuncture or auricular acupuncture, with or without electrical stimulation, in men with any type of erectile dysfunction were eligible for inclusion. Studies that assessed transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, moxibustion and laser acupuncture were excluded. Studies that compared two different forms of acupuncture were excluded, as were studies in which no clinical data were reported.
Included studies were conducted in Turkey, Austria and the Netherlands. The regimen of acupuncture varied between studies. Controls used in included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were sham acupuncture, sham electro-acupuncture, hypnosis and oral placebo. Where reported, duration of erectile dysfunction of included patients ranged from two to 120 months. Included patients had psychogenic, non-organic or organic erectile dysfunction. The outcome reported in the review was rate of successful improvement of sexual function.
The authors did not report how many reviewers performed the study selection.