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Efficacy and safety of acupressure in nausea and vomiting during pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2023 Dec 16. doi: 10.1007/s00404-023-07313-0. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupressure on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Springer, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library were searched for all randomized controlled trials (RCT) of treating nausea and vomiting during pregnancy by acupressure from the inception date of database to July 31st, 2023. Study selection, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment were conducted independently by researchers. The methodological quality of included studies was evaluated by the Cochrane Collaboration’s bias risk assessment tool, meta-analysis by Stata 17.0 software, and publication bias by Begg’s test.

RESULTS: A total of 11 RCTs involving 1378 pregnant women were included in this review, which was assessed to be moderate quality. 10 RCTs involving 1298 pregnant women were assessed for the meta-analysis. The results revealed that acupressure showed significant difference on improvement in symptom score compared with sham acupressure (pooled MD, – 1.33; 95%CI [- 2.06, – 0.61]; P < 0.001) or control group (pooled MD, – 0.73; 95%CI [- 1.08, – 0.39]; P < 0.001), and incidence of effective rate compared with sham acupressure group (pooled RR, 1.78; 95%CI [1.03, 3.07]; P = 0.039). However, no statistical significance was found between acupressure and control group (pooled RR, 4.53; 95%CI [0.67, 30.48]; P = 0.120) on effective rate. On comparing acupressure with sham acupressure, there was no beneficial effect on preventing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (pooled RR, 0.83; 95%CI [0.50, 1.38]; P = 0.476), shortening the duration of hospital stay (pooled MD, – 0.78; 95%CI [- 1.98, 0.41]; P = 0.199) and improving patient satisfaction (pooled RR, 1.36; 95%CI [0.47, 3.91]; P = 0.570). Begg’s test did not reveal any publication bias. Only one RCT reported minimal acupressure-related adverse events.

CONCLUSION: Acupressure may have potential favorable or encouraging effect on treating nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, but strong supportive data are not yet available. Well-designed and large-scale RCTs should be conducted for assessing and confirming the efficacy and safety of acupressure in nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

PMID:38104041 | DOI:10.1007/s00404-023-07313-0

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