Objective: To assess the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Methods: According to the requirement of evidence-based medicine, CFS, fatigue syndrome, acupuncture and moxibustion, acupuncture, electroacupuncture, auricular acupuncture, auricular pellet pressure, plum-blossom needle, intradermal needle, moxibustion, three edged needle, cupping, cup-moving, acupoint injection, etc. were selected as the subject words for retrieving the related papers form domestic and foreign medical databases. The RCT was used as the enrolled criteria, and the clinical cure rate, markedly effective rate, total effective rate, and the scores of the Fatigue Assessment Instrument Questionnaire (FAI) and fatigue scale (FS) were used as the assessment indexes. The statistical package (RevMan 4.2) was used to review management and analysis of 13 papers.
Results: A total of 28 papers were enrolled. Logistic regression analysis showed that the total odds ratio (OR) was 4.56, with 95% confidence interval (CI) [2.84, 7.33] for the total effective rate in 10 studies, the total OR was 2.07 with 95% CI [1.49, 2.88] for the markedly effective rate in 8 studies, and the total OR was 2.51 with 95% CI [1.64, 3.85] for the clinical cure rate in 8 studies. The weighted mean difference (WMD) was -29.52 with 95% CI [-36.17, -22.88] for the FAI score in 3 studies, and the WMD -1.22 with 95% CI [-1.77, -0.67] for the FS score in 4 studies. The therapeutic effect in the treatment group of CFS was superior to that in the control group (P<0.01).
Conclusion: Acupuncture therapy is effective for CFS, but still needs being confirmed by more high-quality studies.