Study shows that acupuncture works for depression
There are many applications for acupuncture, and depression in pregnancy is one condition that can benefit from this Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment.
According to recent research, targeted acupuncture may offer women with major depression in pregnancy a safe and effective alternative to antidepressant medication.
A randomised controlled trial was conducted with 150 pregnant women and published in the March edition of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. To be eligible for the study they had to meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition) criteria for major depressive disorder, and score at least 14 on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. They were then randomly assigned to three different groups:
- acupuncture treatment specific for depression
- control group 1: non-specific acupuncture
- control group 2: Swedish massage.
They were treated over an eight-week period and received 12 treatments during that time.
Women treated with the depression-specific acupuncture had a 63% response rate after 12 sessions compared with a 44.3% response rate in 2 combined control groups. This result was statistically significant.
According to the study, antidepressant use during pregnancy doubled between 1999 and 2003, but many women are reluctant to take these medications because of safety concerns. In fact, in this particular study, 94% of the women involved expressed reluctance to take an antidepressant because of their pregnancy.
“Because there’s this concern about medication among pregnant women and their physicians, it’s important to find an alternative,” said Dr. Rachel Manber, PHD, who led the study.
Read the full study on acupuncture and depression in pregnancy.
SOURCE: Obstetrics & Gynecology VOL. 115, NO. 3, MARCH 2010
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