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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 213407, 16 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/213407
Review Article

Tibetan Medicine: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Research Available in the West

Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, 10098 Berlin, Germany

Received 12 December 2012; Revised 17 February 2013; Accepted 18 February 2013

Academic Editor: Myeong Soo Lee

Copyright © 2013 K. Philip Reuter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Little is known about Tibetan medicine (TM), in Western industrialized countries. Objectives. To provide a systematic review of the clinical studies on TM available in the West. Data Sources. Seven literature databases, published literature lists, citation tracking, and contacts to experts and institutions. Study Eligibility Criteria. Studies in English, German, French, or Spanish presenting clinical trial results. Participants. All patients of the included studies. Interventions. Tibetan medicine treatment. Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods. Included studies were described quantitatively; their quality was assessed with the DIMDI HTA checklist; for RCTs the Jadad score was used. Results. 40 studies from 39 publications were included. They were very heterogeneous regarding study type and size, treated conditions, treatments, measured outcomes, and quality. Limitations. No Russian, Tibetan, or Chinese publications were included. Possible publication bias. Conclusions. The number of clinical trials on TM available in the West is small; methods and results are heterogeneous. Implications of Key Findings. Higher quality larger trials are needed, as is a general overview of traditional usage to inform future clinical trials. Systematic Review Registration Number. None.