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BJOG. 2011 Mar;118(4):440-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02825.x. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Acupuncture for pain relief during induced labour in nulliparae: a randomised controlled study.

Author information

  • 1Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, UK. ian.mackenzie@obs-gyn.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the role of acupuncture for analgesia during labour.

DESIGN:

Double-blind study of manual, electro and sham acupuncture, and single-blind study comparing acupuncture with a control group for analgesia for labour induction.

SETTING:

A major obstetric unit in the UK.

POPULATION:

A cohort of 105 nulliparae undergoing labour induction at term.

METHODS:

Twenty-three subjects needed to be randomised to each group to have an 80% power of detecting a 50% relative reduction in epidural rate with an alpha value of 0.05.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary end point was the rate of intrapartum epidural analgesia, and the secondary end points were parenteral analgesia requirement, labour length, delivery mode, neonatal condition and postpartum haemorrhage.

RESULTS:

There was no difference in epidural analgesia between acupuncture and sham acupuncture, relative risk 1.18 (95% CI 0.8-1.74), or between acupuncture and control, relative risk 0.88 (95% CI 0.66-1.19). There were no significant differences in the secondary end points between the acupuncture groups and the control group. Side effects or complications of acupuncture were not identified.

CONCLUSIONS:

Using the protocols studied, there was no analgesic benefit with acupuncture for pain relief during induced labour in nulliparae.

© 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © RCOG 2011 BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Comment in

PMID:
21244615
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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