A systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to assess the potential effect of therapeutic massage/Tuina on functional dyspepsia (FD) patients.
Twelve databases and three clinical trial registries were searched until December 2021, for RCTs that compared Tuina combined with or without conventional therapy versus conventional therapy in FD. We assessed the methodological quality of included trials by the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool, and graded the quality of the evidence. The data were presented as risk ratio (RR) or mean difference (MD) respectively with their 95% confidence interval (CI).
In total, 14 RCTs with 1128 FD participants were included. Compared with conventional therapy, Tuina showed significant beneficial effects on improving overall symptom (RR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.19, low certainty evidence), and early satiation (MD −0.44 scores, 95% CI −0.72 to −0.16, very low certainty evidence). Compared with conventional therapy, Tuina plus conventional therapy also significantly improved overall symptom (RR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.06–1.23, low certainty evidence), quality of life (MD 10.44 scores, 95% CI 7.65–13.23, low certainty evidence), and epigastric pain (MD −0.76 scores, 95% CI −1.11 to −0.41, low certainty evidence). No adverse events related to Tuina and cost-effectiveness were reported.
Low certainty evidence showed that Tuina significantly improved overall symptom of FD participants compared with conventional therapy. Low certainty evidence showed that Tuina plus conventional therapy obviously improved overall symptom and quality of life of FD participants compared with conventional therapy.