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.
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.
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.
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.
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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