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Acupuncture with manual and electrical stimulation for labour pain: A longitudinal randomised controlled trial
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Medical Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6923-7140
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background Acupuncture using manual stimulation (MA) of the needles is commonly used to reduce labour pain despite contradictory results from studies of its effectiveness. A combination of manual and electrical stimulation (EA) could reduce labour pain more effectively than MA alone, by a higher treatment intensity.The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of MA and EA compared with standard care without any acupuncture (SC) in reducing labour pain. Our hypothesis was that both acupuncture stimulation techniques were more effective than SC, and that EA was the most effective.

Methods

Nulliparous women (n=303) with a normal pregnancy were equally randomized to three groups receiving 40 minutes of either MA, EA or to SC. The recruitment of participants took place at the admission to the labour ward between November 2008 and October 2011 at two Swedish hospitals.

The primary outcome was women’s assessment of labour pain; before and after the first treatment, every 30 minutes for five hours, and thereafter every hour until birth, or until epidural analgesia was administered. For the primary outcome, a linear mixed model for repeated measures was performed to investigate associations between treatment (MA, EA, SC) and pain scores on VAS over time. A difference of 15 mm on the visual analogue scale (VAS) was regarded as clinically relevant, and this required 41 women per group, and compensating for dropouts, in total 101 women in each group.

Data on the primary outcome were obtained from 253 women: MA n=83, EA n=87, and SC n=83.

Results

Primary outcome:

Mean estimated pain scores on VAS (SC: 69.0, MA: 66.4 and EA: 68.5), adjusted for: treatment, age, education, and time from baseline, with no interactions did not differ between the groups (SC vs MA: mean difference 2.6, 95 % confidence interval [CI] -1.7-6.9 and SC vs EA: mean difference 0.6 [95%CI] -3.6-4.8).

Secondary outcomes:

Use of epidural analgesia: MA 61%, EA 46%, SC 70%. EA vs SC: odds ratio (OR) 0.35; (95% CI) 0.19-0.67.

EA vs MA: OR 0.57 (95% CI) 0.31-1.06.

Duration of labour (min): MA 619, EA 500, SC 615. EA vs SC: Hazard Ratio (HR) 1.44; (95% CI) 1.06-1.97. EA vs MA: HR 1.41; (95% CI) 1.03-1.91.

Sufficient pain relief (day after partus): MA 77%, EA 81%, SC 74% (ns).

Positive experience of the midwife (day after partus): MA 100%, EA 97.5%, and SC 98.7% (ns).

Support from the midwife to a high extent (day after partus): MA 77.2%, EA 83.5%, and SC 80% (ns).

Conclusions

Acupuncture does not reduce women’s experience of labour pain, however, women receiving a combination of manual and electro-acupuncture (EA) used less additional pain relief, including epidural analgesia, and had shorter labour than women in the standard care group (SC). Despite the lower use of other pain relief, a majority of the women who used EA were equally satisfied with their pain relief as the women receiving manual acupuncture alone (MA) or SC. They were also equally satisfied with the support from the midwife.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Hälsa och välfärd, Akupunktur som smärtlindring vid förlossning - En randomiserad kontrollerad studie
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-16294OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-16294DiVA, id: diva2:762332
Conference
The British Medical Acupuncture Society, Autumn Meeting 2014
Available from: 2014-11-11 Created: 2014-11-11 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved

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http://www.medical-acupuncture.co.uk/

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Vixner, Linda

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CiteExportLink to record
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