Research into using acupuncture to treat urinary incontinence
Researchers in America have carried out a pilot study to identify if acupuncture is effective in reducing urinary incontinence and to test research methods for investigating this treatment.
The pilot study was a double-blinded, randomised, clinical trial and included nine women with urge or mixed urge and stress UI. Subjects were randomly assigned to a true or sham (placebo control) acupuncture group. Both true and sham acupuncture treatments were performed twice a week for six weeks. All subjects were evaluated at the completion of the 6-week intervention and 4 weeks later.
Subjects randomised to the true acupuncture group had a mean 63.30% reduction in daytime accidents/day one week after treatment and 67.47% reduction at 4 weeks. In contrast, the mean reduction in daytime accidents after sham treatment was 18.88% at 1 week and 16.67% at 4 weeks.
The authors recommend further research to examine the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of UI in women. They also recommend further research into the use of sham acupuncture needles as part of a research study.