Auricular acupuncture effectively reduces state anxiety before dental treatment-a randomised controlled trial

Department of Special Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria, .
Clinical Oral Investigations (Impact Factor: 2.35). 01/2012; 16(6). DOI: 10.1007/s00784-011-0662-4
Source: PubMed


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to analyse whether auricular acupuncture, acupuncture at the outer ear, could reduce state anxiety before dental treatment. METHODS: This prospective, randomised patient-blinded study with 182 patients compared anxiety before dental treatment following auricular acupuncture at the relaxation-, tranquillizer- and master cerebral points (auricular acupuncture group) versus acupuncture at sham points (finger-, shoulder- and tonsil points; sham group) and a non-intervention control group. Anxiety was assessed using the Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory (German version) before auricular acupuncture and 20 min thereafter, immediately before dental treatment. RESULTS: Auricular acupuncture reduced state anxiety score more effectively from 54.7 ± 10.8 to 46.9 ± 10.4 (mean ± SD) than sham acupuncture from 51.9 ± 10.2 to 48.4 ± 10.0. In contrast, state anxiety in the control group increased from 51.0 ± 11.7 to 54.0 ± 11.6 (mean increase +3.0; CI +4.7 to +1.2). The decrease in state anxiety in both intervention groups was statistically significant (p < 0.001) when compared to the non-intervention control group. After correcting for group differences in baseline state anxiety, the reduction in anxiety was -7.3 score points (CI -9.0 to -5.6) in the auricular acupuncture group and -3.7 score points (CI -5.4 to -1.9) in the sham group (p = 0.008). CONCLUSION: Auricular acupuncture, a minimally invasive method, effectively reduces state anxiety before dental treatment. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Auricular acupuncture could be an option for patients scheduled for dental treatment, who experience an uncomfortable degree of anxiety and request an acute intervention for their anxiety.

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    • "When restricting the analysis to studies with 100 or more participants, acupuncture treatment was still associated with significantly decreased preoperative anxiety [24] (MD = 5.2, P = .006, 95% CI [1.51, 8.89]). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce preoperative anxiety in several previous randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In order to assess the preoperative anxiolytic efficacy of acupuncture therapy, this study conducted a meta-analysis of an array of appropriate studies. Methods. Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and CINAHL) were searched up to February 2014. In the meta-analysis data were included from RCT studies in which groups receiving preoperative acupuncture treatment were compared with control groups receiving a placebo for anxiety. Results. Fourteen publications (N = 1,034) were included. Six publications, using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-State (STAI-S), reported that acupuncture interventions led to greater reductions in preoperative anxiety relative to sham acupuncture (mean difference = 5.63, P < .00001, 95% CI [4.14, 7.11]). Further eight publications, employing visual analogue scales (VAS), also indicated significant differences in preoperative anxiety amelioration between acupuncture and sham acupuncture (mean difference = 19.23, P < .00001, 95% CI [16.34, 22.12]). Conclusions. Acupuncture therapy aiming at reducing preoperative anxiety has a statistically significant effect relative to placebo or nontreatment conditions. Well-designed and rigorous studies that employ large sample sizes are necessary to corroborate this finding.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 09/2014; 2014:850367. DOI:10.1155/2014/850367 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Studies on anxious patients before operations or dental treatments and on older patients with postoperative anxiety have given evidence of the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture in these fields. The mechanism is still inconclusive, but scientists believe that auricular acupuncture might have an impact on the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin which helps in the regulation of anxiety [42, 58, 61, 75, 76]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Auricular acupuncture is a method which has been successfully used in various fields of medicine especially in the treatment of pain relief. The introduction of lasers especially low-level lasers into medicine brought besides the already existing stimulation with needles and electricity an additional technique to auricular acupuncture. This literature research looks at the historical background, the development and the anatomical and neurological aspects of auricular acupuncture in general and auricular laser acupuncture in detail. Preliminary scientific findings on auricular acupuncture with laser have been described in detail and discussed critically in this review article. The results of the studies have shown evidence of the effect of auricular laser acupuncture. However, a comparison of these studies was impossible due to their different study designs. The most important technical as well as study parameters were described in detail in order to give more sufficient evidence and to improve the quality of future studies.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 06/2013; 2013:984763. DOI:10.1155/2013/984763 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Injured veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom often require long-term medical management for a variety of complex physical and mental health conditions. These conditions can be challenging to treat with conventional Western medicine practices alone. Recently, complementary and alternative medicine practices have been used within military settings, and have been well received by veterans. Auricular acupuncture is a practice that has provided veterans with a new approach to manage symptoms associated with a wide range of health conditions. This treatment has become an attractive treatment option because of its low cost, portability, minimal side effect profile, and ease of use in clinical and operational settings. Although formally trained Oriental medicine practitioners have historically performed these treatments, military health care providers are now receiving education and training to administer these treatments. This education and training allows military health care providers to expand their knowledge of acupuncture and provide this treatment to veterans across the continuum of care. The purpose of this article is to provide a fundamental description of auricular acupuncture and increase awareness of this treatment and its relevance to military settings.
    08/2013; 178(8):867-74. DOI:10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00075
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