Objective: This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on hot flash frequency and severity, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life in women in natural menopause.
Methods: We systematically searched PubMed/Medline, PsychINFO, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL using keywords such as acupuncture, hot flash, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life. Heterogeneity, moderator analysis, publication bias, and risk of bias associated with the included studies were examined.
Results: Of 104 relevant studies, 12 studies with 869 participants met the inclusion criteria and were included in this study. We found that acupuncture significantly reduced the frequency (g = −0.35; 95% CI, −0.5 to −0.21) and severity (g = −0.44; 95% CI, −0.65 to −0.23) of hot flashes. Acupuncture significantly decreased the psychological, somatic, and urogenital subscale scores on the Menopause Rating Scale (g = −1.56, g = −1.39, and g = −0.82, respectively; P < 0.05). Acupuncture improved the vasomotor subscale score on the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire (g= −0.46; 95% CI, −0.9 to −0.02). Long-term effects (up to 3 mo) on hot flash frequency and severity (g = −0.53 and g = −0.55, respectively) were found.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis confirms that acupuncture improves hot flash frequency and severity, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life (in the vasomotor domain) in women experiencing natural menopause.
From the 1Graduate Institute of Nursing, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; 2Department of Nursing, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan; 3School of Public Health, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; and 4Sleep Science Center, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
Received February 18, 2014; revised and accepted March 20, 2014.
Funding/support: This meta-analysis was supported by a grant (grant NSC 102-2628-B-038-004-MY3 to P.-S.T.) and by postdoctoral fellowship funding (grant NSC 102-2811-B-038-028 to H.-Y.C.) from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan.
Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.
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Address correspondence to: Pei-Shan Tsai, RN, PhD, Graduate Institute of Nursing, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org