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Table 2 GRADE evidence profile for assessment of evidence quality in GRADE system

From: Meta-analysis of acupuncture for relieving non-organic dyspeptic symptoms suggestive of diabetic gastroparesis

Quality assessment No of patients Effect Quality Importance
No of studies Design Risk of bias Inconsistency Indirectness Imprecision Other considerations Acupuncture Control Relative (95% CI) Absolute
Response rate to acupuncture
8 Randomised trial Serious No serious inconsistency No serious indirectness No serious imprecision Reporting bias 272/292 (93.2%) 227/293 (77.5%) RR 1.2 (1.12 to 1.29) 155 more per 1000 (from 93 more to 225 more) ΟΟ LOW CRITICAL
Improvement of total scores of gastroparesis symptoms by acupuncture
6a Randomised trial Serious No serious inconsistencyb No serious indirectness No serious imprecision Reporting bias 221 221 - SMD 0.97 lower (1.27 to 0.68 lower) ΟΟ LOW CRITICAL
Improvement of solid gastric emptying
6c Randomised trial Serious Seriousd No serious indirectness No serious imprecision Reporting bias 195 195 - SMD 0.37 lower (0.79 lower to 0.05 higher) ΟΟΟ Very LOW CRITICAL
  1. Key: a, two trials [24, 32] were excluded because one study [32] used a different scale to evaluate epigastric fullness syndromes and another study [24] used sham-acupuncture as control which was considered not be suitable to combine with other results. b, no significant heterogeneity across these six studies was observed (SMD, I 2 = 55%, df = 5, χ2 = 10.99, P = 0.05). c, six studies [19, 25, 26, 3032] were included and one trial [24] was excluded because this study used scintigraphy to determine gastric emptying which was different from the others. d, there were significant heterogeneity (SMD, I 2 = 77%, df = 5, χ2 = 21.62, P = 0.0006) among these six trials.