Objective: to evaluate the scientific evidence that is available in the literature on the effects of acupuncture for treating anxiety and on the quality of such studies.
Method: the study is an integrative review of CINAHL, LILACS, PUBMED-PICO, SciELO, and The Cochrane Library between 2001 and 2014. Keywords anxiety, acupuncture therapy, acupuncture, and anxiety disorders were combined among themselves to ensure a wide search of primary studies.
Results: among 514 articles, 67 were selected to be fully read and 19 were included. Among these, 11 were found to have strong evidence levels. Among the six articles about randomized clinical studies, five were found to be of reasonable quality. Two studies used acupuncturist nurses to perform their interventions. Its results showed positive and statistically significant effects from using acupuncture for treating subjects with anxiety.
Conclusion: acupuncture seems to be a promising treatment for anxiety; however, there is a need for improving the methodological quality of the research on this field.