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BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 23 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6621

Sham controlled randomised clinical trials of acupuncture in the context of stroke show no positive treatment effect. A meta-analysis of five rigorous trials that looked at function and activities of daily living after stroke reports no beneficial effects of acupuncture. The researchers identified more relevant trials than ever before and searches included studies from China, Japan, and Korea, where acupuncture is widely practised. The small number of studies eventually included prevented an assessment of publication bias (Canadian Medical Association Journal 2010;182:1723-9, doi:10.1503/cmaj.091113).

Visually standardised peak flow graphs shared between patients and their doctors improve asthma control in the cold and flu season, according to a cluster randomised trial. Patients in the intervention group required fewer rescue courses of oral steroids during the winter (9% v 23%, P<0.001) and spring (3% and 17% P<0.001) than those who received usual care. Intervention group patients also had fewer periods …

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