Objective: Acupuncture is a promising option in the treatment of functional bowel disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and acceptance of acupuncture for the treatment of hospital-induced constipation (HIC) in children.
Methods: Bilateral stimulation of acupuncture point LI11 was applied in 10 children with HIC using fixed indwelling acupuncture needles (0.9 mm long) before considering starting conventional local constipation therapy with laxative suppositories. The clinical records were studied retrospectively for feasibility, acceptance and effectiveness of acupuncture.
Results: Acupuncture was feasible in all children and application of the indwelling needles was tolerated without fear. Side effects were not observed. After a median of 3 days of HIC, all children defaecated within 2 h after LI11 stimulation. No patient required conventional local constipation therapy.
Conclusions: Acupuncture for the treatment of HIC is feasible and acceptable. Its effect should be verified in a randomised controlled trial.