Conventional Treatments plus Acupuncture for Asthma in Adults and Adolescent: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Jan 17:2019:9580670. doi: 10.1155/2019/9580670. eCollection 2019.


Objectives: The efficacy of conventional treatments plus acupuncture for asthma in adult and adolescent is uncertain. Literature reports are conflicting; therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of conventional treatments plus acupuncture versus conventional treatments alone using a meta-analysis of all published randomized clinical trials (RCTs).

Methods: Two reviewers independently performed a comprehensive literature search from multiple electronic sources (1990-2018), including PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and WanFang databases. RCTs in which adult and adolescent patients with asthma (age ≥12 years) were divided into conventional treatments plus acupuncture and conventional treatments alone were included.

Results: Nine studies were included. The results showed that conventional treatments plus acupuncture as a complementary therapy could improve the symptom response rate (OR = 7.87, 95% CI = [4.13, 14.99], p < 0.00001) and significantly decrease interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels (MD = -11.42; 95% CI = [-15.28, -7.56], p < 0.00001). However, indices of pulmonary function, including the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) (MD = 0.22, 95% CI = [-0.11, 0.56], p = 0.19) and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) (MD = 8.62, 95% CI = [-0.35, 17.59], p = 0.06), failed to be improved with conventional treatments plus acupuncture.

Conclusion: Conventional treatments plus acupuncture are associated with significant benefits for adult and adolescent patients with asthma. Therefore, we suggest the use of conventional treatments plus acupuncture for asthma patients.

Publication types

  • Review