Acupuncture for female depression: a randomized controlled trial

LIU Jian1 WANG Aiai1 NIE Guangning1 WANG Xiaoyun1 HUANG Jian1

(1.Department of Gynecology, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of TCM, Guangzhou, China 510120)

【Abstract】Objective to observe the effect differences and safety between acupuncture and sham acupuncture for female depression on the basis of conventional western medicine therapy. Methods Forty-two patients with depression who met the criteria were randomly assigned into an observation group and a control group, 21 patients in each group. The basic treatment in the two groups was fluoxetine. The patients in the observation group were treated with acupuncture at Zhongwan (CV 12), Xiawan (CV 10), Qihai (CV 6), Guanyuan (CV 4) and bilateral Shangqu (KI 17). Sham acupuncture was used at the above points in the control group. The treatment was given once a day on the first 3 days and once every 3 days after that, totally for 8 weeks. The scores of self-rating depression scale (SDS) and Montgomery Asberg depression rating scale (MADRS) were compared before and after 4-week and 8-week treatment in the two groups. The effects and adverse reactions were evaluated. Results After 4-week and 8-week treatment, the SDS and MADRS scores were significantly lower than those before treatment in the two groups(all P< 0.05), and the scores in the observation group were lower than those in the control group (both P < 0.05). The improvements of SDS and MADRS scores in the observation group before and after treatment were better than those in the control group (both P < 0.05). The total effective rates of SDS, MADRS scores were 85.7% (18/21), 90.5% (19/21) in the observation group, which were better than 38.1% (8/21), 57.1% (12/21) in the control group (both P < 0.05). The adverse reactions in the observation group were significantly lower than those in the control group (P < 0.05). Conclusion Acupuncture combined with fluoxetine are effective and safe for female depression.

【Keywords】 female depression; acupuncture; fluoxetine; self-rating depression scale (SDS); randomized controlled trial (RCT);


【Funds】 Grants from the Alternative Medicine Program of Daegu in South Korea Project of Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Traditional Chinese Medicine(20162065) Non-Profit Study and Capability Building Special Fund Support Project of Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, China in the Year 2014 (Second batch) (2014 A 020221066)

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This Article



Vol 38, No. 04, Pages 375-378

April 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Clinical data
  • 2 Treatment methods
  • 3 Observation of effectiveness
  • 4 Discussion
  • References