A scoping review of cohort studies assessing traditional Chinese medicine interventions

Yuting Duan, Zhirui Xu, Jingjing Deng, Yanjia Lin, Yan Zheng, Juexuan Chen, Xiaoyu Tang, Xuan Zhang, Chunzhi Tang, Jiangxia Miao, Zhaoxiang Bian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Backgrounds: Identifying topics and assessing the reporting quality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) cohort studies.

Methods: A scoping review of the literature was performed. A descriptive approach to summarize the core study characteristics was prepared, along with structured tables and figures to identify salient points of differences noted across studies. The reporting quality of TCM cohort studies was assessed according to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE)-cohort checklist.

Results: A total of 199 TCM cohort studies were included. The largest number of TCM cohort studies was conducted in Mainland China (70.9%). The TCM cohort study was first published in 2003. The top three diseases studied were Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Stroke, and Asthma. As for the intervention methods, Chinese herbal medicine formulas (60.3%), acupuncture (14.1%) and single herbs (12.6%) accounted for the majority, followed by moxibustion (4.0%) and qigong (2.0%). The overage sufficient reporting rate of included TCM cohort studies according to the STROBE-cohort checklist was 42.9%. Comparing with Chinese literature, the reporting rates of English literature in most items were higher.

Conclusion: For the application of cohort studies to inform the effects of TCM interventions, the interventions assessed and conditions studied were diverse, the reporting quality was unsatisfied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number361
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Medicine(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cohort studies
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Reporting quality
  • Scoping review
  • Traditional Chinese medicine


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