Table 1: The characteristics of the included studies.

Author (year)Diagnosis criteriaTCM syndromeAge (year)Disease duration (months)TCM therapyOutcome measurementsDuration (weeks)Followup (weeks)
(T versus C)TCTC

Bensoussan et al. (1998) [27] ⁢Rome IStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen43 versus 17NRNRSoothing the liver and invigorating the spleen⁢(1) BSS score; (2) global symptom improvement16 w14 w
NR38 versus 18NRNRIndividualized

Luo (2002) [28]Rome IIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen20 versus 20Soothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) Global symptom improvement; (2) serum and mucosal VIP4 wNR

Shen et al. (2005) [29, 30]Rome IIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen14 versus 10Soothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) Anorectal manometry; (2) functional MR test; (3) global symptom score4 wNR

Wang et al. (2006) [31]Rome IIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen29 versus 28NRNRSoothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) Abdominal pain improvement; (2) diarrhea improvement; (3) TCM syndrome improvement3 w4 w

Leung et al. (2006) [18]Rome IIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen60 versus 59NRNRSoothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) Global symptom improvement; (2) individual symptom score; (3) daily bowel frequency; (4) SF-368 w8 w

Cheng (2008) [32]Rome IIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen25 versus 25Soothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) Anorectal manometry; (2) serum and mucosal 5-HT4 wNR

Li et al. (2010) [33]Rome IIIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen30 versus 30Soothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) IBS-SSS; (2) global IBS symptom improvement4 w 4 w

Chen et al. (2010) [34]Rome IIIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen360 versus 120NRNRNRNRSoothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) Diarrhea improvement; (2) abdominal pain improvement3 wNR

Tang et al. (2011) [35]Rome IIINR30 versus 30Soothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) IBS-SSS; (2) IBS-QOL8 wNR

Li (2011) [36]Rome IIIYang deficiency of the spleen and kidney41 versus 41Warming the kidney and invigorating the spleen(1) Global symptom improvement; (2) IBS-SSS4 w1 m

Su et al. (2013) [37]Rome IIIYang deficiency of the spleen and kidney120 versus 120Warming the kidney and invigorating the spleen(1) Global symptom improvement; (2) TCM symptom improvement; (3) recurrence rate4 w6 m

Cai et al. (2012) [38]Rome IIIStagnation of liver qi and deficiency in the spleen18 versus 19Soothing the liver and invigorating the spleen(1) IBS-SSS; (2) TCM syndrome score8 wNR

Ko et al. (2013) [39]Rome IIINR14 versus 12NRNRResolving dampness to move qi(1) Adequate relief (AR); (2) proportion of responders (PR); (3) IBS-QoL; (4) patient diary8 w2 w

Li et al. (2014) [40]Rome IIINR80 versus 80NRNRNRNRSoothing the liver and invigorating the spleenGlobal symptom improvement4 wNR

TCM, Chinese Traditional Medicine; T, trial group; C, control group; NR, no report.