Effects of acupuncture on the symptoms of anxiety and depression caused by premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Acupunct Med. 2013 Dec;31(4):358-63. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010394. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Objective: The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of acupuncture and sham acupuncture on the symptoms of anxiety and depression brought on by premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Methods: In a single-blind randomised clinical trial, 30 volunteers with PMDD were assigned alternately to group 1 (acupuncture) or group 2 (sham acupuncture), and completed an evaluation of symptoms of anxiety and depression using the Hamilton Anxiety (HAM-A) and Hamilton Depression (HAM-D) Rating Scales. The procedure was performed twice a week for two menstrual cycles, for a total of 16 attendances for each participant.

Results: Before the intervention the mean HAM-A and HAM-D scores did not differ between groups. Following the intervention symptoms of anxiety and depression were reduced in both groups; however, the improvement was significant in group 1 compared to group 2, as shown by a mean reduction in HAM-A scores of 58.9% in group 1 and 21.2% in group 2 (p<0.001). The reduction in the mean HAM-D scores was 52.0% in group 1 and 19.6% in group 2, resulting in a significant difference (p=0.012).

Conclusions: The results suggest that acupuncture could be another treatment option for PMDD patients.

Keywords: Acupuncture.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / complications*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome