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Table 2 Summary of the overall quality of the body of evidence

From: Is manipulative therapy more effective than sham manipulation in adults?: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Type of outcome measure (population) Time frame (Number of studies) Number of participants Summary of the quality of the evidence Reasons for downgrading
Pain (variety of complaints) On all time points (7RCTs) 389 Low evidence: Risk of bias/imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than sham
  Immediate (3RCTs) 117 Moderate evidence: Incons
MT provides better pain relief than sham
  Short-term (4RCTs) 272 Low evidence: Risk of bias/imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than sham
  Long- term (1RCT) 62 Low evidence: Incons./imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than sham
Pain (musculoskeletal disorders) On all time points (5RCTs) 208 Low evidence: Risk of bias/imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than sham
  Immediate (2RCTs) 73 Moderate evidence: imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than sham
  Short-term (3RCTs) 135 Low evidence: Risk of bias/imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than sham
  Long- term (1RCT) 62 Low evidence: Incons./imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than
Pain (neck pain) Immediate (2RCTs) 73 Low evidence: Incons./imprecision
MT does not provide better pain relief than sham
Pain (low back pain) Short-term (2RCTs) 126 Low evidence: Risk of bias/imprecision
MT provides better pain relief than sham
Pain (primary dysmenorrhea) On all time points (2RCTs) 181 Low evidence: incons./imprecision
MT does not provide better pain relief than sham
Pain (chiropractor) On all time points (3RCTs) 190 Very low evidence: Risk of bias/incons./imprecision
MT does not provide better pain relief than sham
Pain (physical therapist) On all time points (3RCTs) 137 Low evidence: Risk of bias/imprecision
MT performed by physical therapist provides better pain relief than sham
Pain (physician) On all time points (1RCT) 62 Low evidence: incons./imprecision
MT performed by a physician therapist provides better pain relief than sham
Disability (muscoloskeletal disorders) Short term (6RCTs) 355 Very low evidence: Risk of bias/incons./imprecision
MT does not provide better relief of disability than sham
Perceived (asthma) recovery (chronic asthma) Short term (1RCTs) 31 Very low evidence: Risk of bias/incons./imprecision
MT does not provide better perceived (asthma) recovery than sham
  1. incons. = inconsistency.