Acupuncture with manual and low frequency electrical stimulation as experienced by women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A qualitative study

Research and Development Unit of the County Södra Älvsborg, Sven Eriksonsplatsen 4, 503 38 Borås, Sweden.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.02). 04/2012; 12(1):32. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-32
Source: PubMed


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10 percent of all fertile women and is associated with anovulation/oligoovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Pharmacological treatment is often effective but associated with unwanted side effects. Acupuncture treatments have been shown to improve menstrual bleeding patterns and ovulation as well as hyperandrogenism, without side effects. The purpose of the present study was to describe the experience of acupuncture for women diagnosed with PCOS.
Eight women with PCOS living in western Sweden, were interviewed following repeated acupuncture treatments. Data was analyzed using systematic text condensation as described by Malterud.
The experience of acupuncture for women diagnosed with PCOS can be described in five categories; the experience of hope, getting results, feelings of responsibility, skepticism and proof of effect, and feeling normal.
Since acupuncture is a promising treatment for the symptoms of the common syndrome PCOS, the present study adds to the knowledge base by providing the important experiences of patients receiving the treatment. Acupuncture provides a possibility for patients to gain hope as the treatment shows results. The results show that acupuncture empowers the patients to take responsibility for their future well-being, although they may have been initially skeptical to the treatment. Because the syndrome had affected them for some time, even small changes offered a chance for them to feel that their bodies were capable of normal function.

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Available from: Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Jul 01, 2014
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    • "Elements of this context have been identified previously. For example, women in a trial of acupuncture for menopausal symptoms associated with tamoxifen hoped for particular outcomes as well as (or instead of) expecting them [38] as did women in a trial of acupuncture for polycystic ovary syndrome [39]. Patients receiving acupuncture as part of treatment for substance dependence were apprehensive about initiating an unfamiliar treatment [40] while adolescents in a trial of acupuncture for chronic pain were anxious about needling and thought it would be uncomfortable [41]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decades interest in using auricular acupuncture for substance dependence care has increased. The specific auricular acupuncture protocol used follows the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) definition. This paper describes patients’ experiences of receiving auricular acupuncture during protracted withdrawal. Interviews were conducted with 15 patients treated at an outpatient clinic for substance dependence. Content analysis was used to analyse the interviews. The analysis resulted in seven categories of positive experiences and seven categories of negative experiences. The positive experiences were: Relaxation and well-being, Peacefulness and harmony, New behaviours, Positive physical impact, Importance of context, Anxiety reduction and Reduced drug and alcohol consumption. The negative experiences were: Nothing negative, Disturbing context, Short-term effect, Depending on someone else, Time-consuming, Physical distractions and Remaining cravings. The conclusion of this study is that all respondents appreciated NADA treatment. This study supports further research on using NADA in addiction treatment to reduce suffering during protracted withdrawal and in other contexts.
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