Efficacy of acupuncture in children with asthma: a systematic review



Efficacy of acupuncture in children with asthma: a systematic review


Journal Publication





Research Type

Systematic Review



BACKGROUND: We performed a systematic review of the efficacy of various types of acupuncture in the treatment of asthma in children. METHODS: We searched the MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases up to October 20, 2014. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of children and adolescents (<18 years of age) with asthma were included. Data extraction was applied, and methodologic quality was assessed. RESULTS: A total of 32 articles were assessed for eligibility, and seven studies comprising 410 patients were included in the systematic review. Two RCTs showed significant improvement in peak expiratory flow (PEF) variability for acupuncture (traditional and laser) vs. control, with one showing significant improvement in asthma-specific anxiety level, but no significant differences in other lung function parameters or quality of life. Another RCT reported significant benefits of laser acupuncture on lung function parameters but did not describe or report statistical analyses. One crossover RCT showed significant improvements in response to both acupuncture and placebo acupuncture, with better improvements with acupuncture compared to placebo acupuncture (forced exhaled volume in 1 s [FEV1], PEF). Two additional crossover RCTs showed no significant differences between single sessions of laser acupuncture and placebo acupuncture on baseline, postacupuncture, and postinduced bronchoconstriction values (% predicted FEV1, maximum expiratory flow). A recent study showed a significant effect of acupuncture paired with acupressure on medication use and symptoms in preschool-age children. Methodologic and reporting variability remains an issue. However, the results suggest that acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on PEF or PEF variability in children with asthma. CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of acupuncture on other outcome measures is unclear. Large-scale RCTs are needed to further assess the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of asthma in children.




PMID:26149519; PMCID:PMC4491888

View on Pubmed



has health condition studied

Respiratory Tract Diseases

has study population number


Item sets