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Table 2 Summary of included study characteristics

From: Efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for knee tendinopathies and other soft tissue disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Study author (year) [reference] Groups Age (years)
Mean (SD)
Sex F/M N Design Diagnosis Involved side Unilateral/bilateral Athlete/nonathlete Duration of symptoms (months)
Mean (SD, range)
Cointervention Follow up time point Outcome results Fund or grant§ MQ score*
Chen (2014) [51] EG: ESWT + MSE 63.0 (7.4) 102/18 30 RCT, DB Popliteal cyamella NR Nonathlete 10–144 None Baseline VASb,c; ROMb,c Funded 7/10
CG 1: USD + MSE    30        Posttest: ≤1, 6 months Lequesne’s indexb,c   
CG 2: MSE    30           
CG 3: Non-ESWT    30           
Geng (2017) [90] EG: ESWT + APT 35.9 (10.2) 19/41 30 RCT CPT NR Nonathlete 4.7 (2.8) None Baseline VASa,b,c; PTTa,b,c Funded 6/10
CG: CT    30        Posttest: 1 month 4-point Likert scalec   
Guan (2015) [80] EG: ESWT 45.5 (20–80) 91/55 73 RCT PAT 128/18 Nonathlete 12.5 (6–36) None Baseline VASa,b,c NR 6/10
CG: CT    73        Posttest: 6 months    
Huang (2017) [88] EG: ESWT 22.0 (3.0) 0/31 31 RCT CPT 28/3 Athlete 12.0 (6–24) None Baseline VASa,b,c; VISA-Pa,b,c Funded 6/10
CG: CT 21.0 (3.0) 0/30 30    29/1   11.0 (6–20)   Posttest: 1, 3, 12 months 4-point Likert scalec   
Jiang (2016) [81] EG: ESWT 35.7 (9.1) 24/16 40 RCT CPT 40/0 Nonathlete 4.2 (3.9) PT Baseline VASa,b,c; PIb,c NR 6/10
CG: Non-ESWT 34.4 (10.7) 21/15 36    36/0   4.7 (4.4) Pain medication Posttest: ≤1, 2 weeks KOS-ADLSa,b,c   
Khosrawi (2017) [48] EG: ESWT 49.4 (7.8) 16/4 20 RCT, SB PAT NR Nonathlete > 3 months STE Baseline VASa,b,c; MPQa,b,c Funded 8/10
CG: Sham ESWT 50.2 (8.1) 15/5 20       Pain medication Posttest: ≤1, 2 months    
Liu (2016) [82] EG: ESWT 22.1 (1.5) 22/28 50 RCT, SB CPT 50/0 Athlete 4.9 (1.3, 3–6) APT Baseline VASa,b,c; VISA-Pa,b,c Funded 6/10
CG: Iontophoresis 22.2 (1.3) 23/27 50    50/0   5.0 (1.1, 3–6) Massage Posttest: ≤1, 3, 6, 12 months 4-point RMSc   
Taunton (2003) [83] EG: ESWT 23–52 5/5 10 RCT, SB CPT NR Athlete > 3 months None Baseline VISA-Pa,b,c Funded 5/10
CG: Sham ESWT   5/5 10        Posttest: ≤1, 3 months Vertical jump testb,c   
Thijs (2017) [84] EG: ESWT 30.5 (8.0) 8/14 22 RCT, DB CPT NR Nonathlete 16.3 (18.2, 3–78) ET exercise Baseline VASa,b; VISA-Pa,b NR 9/10
CG: Sham ESWT 27.3 (5.2) 6/24 30      24.9 (31.6, 3–125)   Posttest: ≤1, 3, 6 months 6-point Likert scale   
Vetrano (2013) [85] EG: ESWT 26.8 (8.5) 6/17 23 RCT, SB CPT 23/0 Athlete 17.6 (20.2) STE Baseline VASa,b,c; VISA-Pa,b,c NR 7/10
CG: PRP 26.9 (9.1) 3/20 23    23/0   18.9 (19.1)   Posttest: 2, 6, 12 months MBSa,b,c   
Wang (2014) [86] EG: ESWT 28.3 (7.4) 5/21 26 RCT, SB ACL reconstruction 26/0 Nonathlete 21.4 (22.5, 1–72) PT Baseline LFSa,b,c Funded 8/10
CG: Non-ESWT 27.7 (7.7) 6/21 27    27/0   15.4 (21.9, 1–84)   Posttest: 12, 24 months IKDC scorea,b   
Weckström (2016) [52] EG: ESWT 23.7 (2.0) 6/14 11 RCT ITBS NR Nonathlete 60.4 (53.7) MSE Baseline 11-point NRSb; NR 7/10
CG: CT 24.2 (2.2) 7/13 13      42.3 (65.1) STE Posttest: 1, 2, 12 months Treadmill test   
Wu (2009) [91] EG: ESWT 15.9 (11–19) 9/21 30 RCT OSD NR Athlete 3–36 None Baseline VASa,b,c; MPQa,b,c NR 6/10
CG: USD 16.5 (14.–19) 7/23 30      3–36   Posttest: 0, 3 months 3-point Likert scalec   
Wu (2016) [89] EG: ESWT 26.0 (19–38) 7/55 31 RCT ACL injury 31/0 Nonathlete 3.8 (1–12) PT Baseline VASa,b,c NR 6/10
CG: Non-ESWT    31    31/0     Posttest: ≤1 month 4-point Likert scalec   
Yang (2007) [16] EG: ESWT 34.0 (7.4) 6/22 28 RCT PTKS 28/0 Nonathlete 6.0 (5.3) MSE Baseline VASa,b,c; ROMa,b,c NR 5/10
CG: CPM 33.0 (8.4) 9/20 29    29/0   6.0 (3.3)   Posttest: ≤1 month 4-point Likert scalec   
Zhang (2016) [92] EG: ESWT 48.0 (4.6) 10/8 18 RCT, SB Traumatic synovitis 18/0 Nonathlete 1–2 APT; MSE Baseline VASa,b,c; ROMa,b,c; Funded 6/10
CG: Non-ESWT 50.0 (5.8) 11/7 18    18/0   1–2   Posttest: 2, 4, 6 weeks Swellinga,b,c; LFSa,b,c 4-point Likert scale   
Zhang (2017) [17] EG: ESWT 34.8 (5.6) 7/21 28 RCT PTKS 28/0 Nonathlete 4.7 (2.3) PT Baseline VASa,b,c; ROMa,b,c; NR 6/10
CG: Non-ESWT 35.5 (4.9) 9/17 26    26/0   4.3 (2.6)   Posttest: 0 month HSSa,b,c; 4-point Likert scale   
Zhou (2015) [53] EG: ESWT 25.0 (18–30) 30/30 30 RCT IPFP injury 50/10 Athlete 24 (1–48) None Baseline VASa,b,c; NR 6/10
CG: APT    30        Posttest: ≤1 month 4-point Likert scalec   
Zwerver (2011) [87] EG: ESWT 24.2 (5.2) 11/20 31 RCT, DB CPT 18/13 Athlete 7.3 (3.6) Sports participation Baseline VAS a,b; VISA-P a,b; Funded 9/10
CG: Sham ESWT 25.7 (4.5) 10/21 31    13/18   8.1 (3.8) Medical treatment Posttest: ≤1, 3, 6 months Knee-loading pain test   
  1. *Assessed using the 10-point PEDro classification scale
  2. No application of shock wave treatment
  3. Value of total sample
  4. §Details of the funding information of the studies are presented in Additional file 10: Table S3
  5. aSignificant improvements in the control group compared with baseline (P < 0.05)
  6. bSignificant improvements in the experimental group compared with baseline (P < 0.05)
  7. cSignificant between-group difference for ESWT compared with control (P < 0.05)
  8. MQ methodological quality, EG experimental group, CG control group, ESWT extracorporeal shock wave therapy, RCT randomized controlled trial, QRCT Quasi-randomized controlled trial, DB double blind, VAS visual analog scale, NR not reported, ET eccentric training, VISA-P Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Patella, PRP platelet-rich plasma, PTKS posttraumatic knee stiffness, USD ultrasound diathermy, MSE muscular strengthening exercise, APT acupuncture therapy, LPNIR-LI linear polarized near-infrared light irradiation, CT conservative treatment, STE stretching exercise, ITBS iliotibial band syndrome, OSD Osgood–Schlatter disease, CPT chronic patellar tendinopathy, PTT patellar tendon thickness, PT physiotherapy, PAT pes anserine tendinopathy, MPQ McGill pain questionnaire, PI patellar intumesce, KOS-ADLS Knee Outcome Survey-activities of Daily Living Scale, ACL anterior cruciate ligament, LFS Lysholm functional score, MBS Modified Blazina scale, IKDC International Knee Documentation Committee, CPM continuous passive motion, LCSI local corticosteroid injection, HSS Hospital for Special Surgery Knee score, IPFP infrapatellar fat pad, ROM range of motion