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Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2018 Dec 13;52:e03402. doi: 10.1590/S1980-220X2017040503402.

Effectiveness of auricular acupuncture in the treatment of cancer pain: randomized clinical trial.

[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish; Abstract available in Portuguese and Spanish from the publisher]

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Universidade Federal de Alfenas, Escola de Enfermagem, Alfenas, MG, Brasil.
Universidade Federal de Alfenas, Instituto Ciências da Motricidade. Alfenas, MG, Brasil.
Universidade Federal de Alfenas, Instituto de Ciências Exatas, Departamento de Estatística, Alfenas, MG, Brasil.
Universidade de São Paulo, Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento Materno-Infantil e Saúde Pública, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil.


in English, Portuguese, Spanish


To evaluate the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture in the pain of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and to verify if there were alterations in the use of analgesics after the application of this intervention.


Randomized controlled trial with cancer patients with complaints of pain greater than or equal to four in the Numerical Pain Scale. Two parallel groups were created, an Experimental group, which received auricular acupuncture at energy balance points and at points indicated for the treatment of pain, and a Placebo group, in which fixed placebo points were used. Both groups received the application of semipermanent needles in eight sessions.


31 cancer patients participated in the study. After the eight auricular acupuncture sessions, there was a significant difference between the groups regarding the reduction of pain intensity (p < 0.001) and of the use of medications (p < 0.05).


Auricular acupuncture was effective in reducing the pain of patients receiving chemotherapy. Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials: RBR-6k3rqh.

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