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Effects of acupuncture on COPD: Review and meta-analysis


Researchers from the Henan University of Chinese Medicine evaluated the efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy (AT) in improving the functional effects and the quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The results of their review and meta-analysis were published in the journal BioMed Research International.

  • The researchers searched through various databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effects of AT on COPD patients.
  • For their analyses, they used six-minute walk distance (6MWD) and St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) as primary outcome measures.
  • They conducted study selection, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment independently and used two different softwares for statistical analysis.
  • The researchers included 19 studies that involved 1, 298 participants in their meta-analysis.
  • They reported that 6MWD improved more, and the effective rate was higher in the experimental group (AT) than the control group.
  • AT also improved symptom domain scores, activity domain scores, and impact domain scores of SGRQ in COPD patients.
  • However, the researchers found no significant improvement in SGRQ total scores between the two groups.
  • They also found that improvement of post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume (FEV1) was not significant between the two groups.
  • On the other hand, subgroup analysis showed that the combination of AT and other treatments improved FEV1 better than conventional treatments without adjunct.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that AT is effective in improving functional effects and quality of life in COPD patients and may also improve pulmonary function. However, further high-quality RCTs are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of AT for COPD patients.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Wang J, Li J, Yu X, Xie Y. ACUPUNCTURE THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL EFFECTS AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN COPD PATIENTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS. BioMed Research International. 20 May 2018;2018:1–19. DOI: 10.1155/2018/3026726



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