AcuTrials

The role of treatment timing and mode of stimulation in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea with acupuncture: An exploratory randomised controlled trial

Item

Title

The role of treatment timing and mode of stimulation in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea with acupuncture: An exploratory randomised controlled trial

Journal Publication

Date

2017

volume

12(7)

Research Type

RCT

Keywords

Menstruation Disturbances
Acu Versus CAM Control
Electroacupuncture
Indirect Moxibustion
TCM Acupuncture Style
Semi-Individualized Acupuncture Protocol
Traditional Diagnosis Based Point Selection
Restricted Modalities
Acupuncture + Other

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We examined the effect of changing treatment timing and the use of manual, electro acupuncture on the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea. METHODS: A randomised controlled trial was performed with four arms, low frequency manual acupuncture (LF-MA), high frequency manual acupuncture (HF-MA), low frequency electro acupuncture (LF-EA) and high frequency electro acupuncture (HF-EA). A manualised trial protocol was used to allow differentiation and individualized treatment over three months. A total of 74 women were randomly assigned to one of the four groups (LF-MA n = 19, HF-MA n = 18, LF-EA n = 18, HF-EA n = 19). Twelve treatments were performed over three menstrual cycles, either once per week (LF groups) or three times in the week prior to menses (HF groups). All groups received a treatment in the first 48 hours of menses. The primary outcome was the reduction in peak menstrual pain at 12 months from trial entry. RESULTS: During the treatment period and nine month follow-up all groups showed statistically significant (p < .001) reductions in peak and average menstrual pain compared to baseline but there were no differences between groups (p > 0.05). Health related quality of life increased significantly in six domains in groups having high frequency of treatment compared to two domains in low frequency groups. Manual acupuncture groups required less analgesic medication than electro-acupuncture groups (p = 0.02). HF-MA was most effective in reducing secondary menstrual symptoms compared to both-EA groups (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Acupuncture treatment reduced menstrual pain intensity and duration after three months of treatment and this was sustained for up to one year after trial entry. The effect of changing mode of stimulation or frequency of treatment on menstrual pain was not significant. This may be due to a lack of power. The role of acupuncture stimulation on menstrual pain needs to be investigated in appropriately powered randomised controlled trials.

doi

10.1371/journal.pone.0180177

Language

English

Frequency of Treatment

<1/WK

Time in Treatment

N/A

has health condition studied

Menstruation Disturbances

has study population number

74

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