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Altern Ther Health Med. 2017 Jul;23(4). pii: at5471. Epub 2017 Feb 27.

Comparison Between Acupuncture and Biofeedback as Adjunctive Treatments for Primary Insomnia Disorder.


Context • Insomnia affects from 5% to 35% of the general population worldwide. Primary insomnia disorder is the most frequently diagnosed, sleep-related disorder. Pharmacological treatments remain the most widely used treatments for insomnia. Nonpharmacological treatments for primary insomnia disorder have been found to be effective. Objective • This study intended to determine the appropriateness of acupuncture and biofeedback as adjuncts to medication for primary insomnia disorder. Design • The research team designed a randomized, controlled study. Setting • The study took place in a psychosomatic clinic at a regional general hospital in southern Taiwan. Participants • Participants were patients at the clinic with primary insomnia disorder who had never received prior hypnotic medication or alternative treatments. Intervention • All participants received 10 mg of zolpidem. The participants were divided into 3 groups: (1) acupuncture adjunctive to zolpidem (AAZ) group- 18 patients received 1 acupuncture session weekly; (2) biofeedback adjunctive to zolpidem (BAZ) group- 17 patients received 1 biofeedback session weekly; and (3) control (OZ) group-14 patients received only zolpidem. Patients visited the clinic 1 ×/wk for 4 wk, at baseline and on days 7, 14, and 21 of the intervention. Outcome Measures • The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to measure outcomes. Treatment success was defined as a final PSQI score of ≤5. The generalized estimating equation (GEE) was used for statistical analysis. Results • Using analysis of variance, the reduction in the PSQI scores were (1) 3.72 for the AAZ group, (2) 2.00 for the BAZ group, and (3) 2.29 for the OZ group (P = .28). The GEE analysis indicated no differences in the therapeutic effects among the 3 groups: P = .37 for the AAZ group vs the OZ group and P = .07 for the BAZ group vs the OZ group, when the PSQI of the OZ group was set to 0. The AAZ group had a significantly higher score than the OZ group for the sleep duration domain (B = 3.01, P < .001), whereas the BAZ group had a significantly higher score than the OZ group on the sleep disturbance domain (B = 6.78, P < .001). Higher scores indicate more difficulty in a domain. Conclusions • The change in the PSQI score and the success rate were better in the acupuncture group. The heterogeneity in primary insomnia disorder might mean that different therapeutic compositions are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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