Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not acupuncture therapy is effective in the improvement of symptoms of insomnia in adults.
STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials published in 2017 and 2018.
DATA SOURCES: Articles published in peer-reviewed journals using PubMed Database.
OUTCOMES MEASURED: The outcome measured was the patients’ decrease in insomnia symptoms through the use of self-administered questionnaires such as the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and through a sleep diary.
RESULTS: The studies by Yin, Gou, Xu, et al. (Sleep Med. 2017;37:193-200. doi: S1389- 9457(17)30093-X [pii]) and Fu, Zhao, Liu, et al. (Sleep. 2017;40(11):10.1093/sleep/zsx153. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx153 [doi]) both found the improvement in insomnia symptoms for patients who received true acupuncture as opposed to sham acupuncture to be statistically significant with a pvalue of 0.001 or less. However, Chung, Yeung, Yu, et al. (Acupunct Med. 2018;36(1):2-13. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011371 [doi]) did not find a significant difference between the treatment and control groups, with the p-value of 0.08 for the acupuncture-only group proving the estimate of treatment effect was not precise. Yet, the treatment groups were still better at improving insomnia symptoms than the waitlist.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of all three trials were encouraging for acupuncture alleviating insomnia symptoms. Further studies are necessary to assess the long-term benefits of acupuncture treatment for decreasing insomnia symptoms. Additionally, future research should evaluate the efficacy of using different acupoints and/or the minimum amount of sessions needed to experience any amelioration of symptoms.
Tolosa Tourem, Mariana, "Is Acupuncture Therapy Effective in the Improvement of Symptoms of Insomnia in Adults?" (2020). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 546.