Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not acupuncture is effective in treating chronic migraine in women between the ages of 18-65.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of two randomized controlled trials and one prospective controlled trial published in English language between 2009 and 2014.

DATA SOURCES: Two PCTs and one prospective CT published in peer reviewed journals, searched through PubMed, EBSCOhost.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: The outcome measured included improvement in quality of life, reduction in intensity and number of headache days. This were measured using 50% responders analysis, self reporting by participants, short form 36 (SF-36) and MIDAS index.

RESULTS: Facco et al treatment which showed significant improvement in patient daily activity and number of headache days after treatment with acupuncture compared to valproic acid. Ferro et al showed significant improvement in social functioning and quality of life following acupuncture treatment compared to TAN. Yang et al showed significant decreased in number of headaches days after treatment with traditional acupuncture compared with topiramate therapy.

CONCLUSION: This review shows that the use of acupuncture is an effective way to treat chronic migraine or decrease the severity of it. In addition, the lack of side effect and low number needed to treat (NNT) makes acupuncture an effective treatment. More is research is on the way to look at the long term effect of using acupuncture treatment.