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PLoS One. 2016 Mar 9;11(3):e0150367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150367. eCollection 2016.

The Efficacy of Acupuncture in Post-Operative Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Wu MS1,2, Chen KH3,4,5, Chen IF6, Huang SK6, Tzeng PC7, Yeh ML8, Lee FP9,10, Lin JG11, Chen C4,5,7,9,12,13.

Author information

1
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
2
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
3
Department of Nursing, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
4
School of Nursing, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
5
Cochrane Taiwan, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
6
Institute of Management of Technology, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
7
Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
8
Graduate Institute of Integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan.
9
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
10
Department of Otolaryngology, Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan.
11
School of Chinese Medicine-Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
12
Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
13
Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Postoperative pain resulting from surgical trauma is a significant challenge for healthcare providers. Opioid analgesics are commonly used to treat postoperative pain; however, these drugs are associated with a number of undesirable side effects.

OBJECTIVE:

This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture and acupuncture-related techniques in treating postoperative pain.

DATA SOURCE:

MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE databases were searched until Sep 30, 2014.

STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

Randomized controlled trials of adult subjects (≥ 18 years) who had undergone surgery and who had received acupuncture, electroacupuncture, or acupoint electrical stimulation for managing acute post-operative pain were included.

RESULTS:

We found that patients treated with acupuncture or related techniques had less pain and used less opioid analgesics on Day 1 after surgery compared with those treated with control (P < 0.001). Sensitivity analysis using the leave-one-out approach indicated the findings are reliable and are not dependent on any one study. In addition, no publication bias was detected. Subgroup analysis indicated that conventional acupuncture and transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation (TEAS) were associated with less postoperative pain one day following surgery than control treatment, while electroacupuncture was similar to control (P = 0.116). TEAS was associated with significantly greater reduction in opioid analgesic use on Day 1 post surgery than control (P < 0.001); however conventional acupuncture and electroacupuncture showed no benefit in reducing opioid analgesic use compared with control (P ≥ 0.142).

CONCLUSION:

Our findings indicate that certain modes of acupuncture improved postoperative pain on the first day after surgery and reduced opioid use. Our findings support the use of acupuncture as adjuvant therapy in treating postoperative pain.

PMID:
26959661
PMCID:
PMC4784927
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0150367
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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