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Acupuncture Can Help Treat Dysmenorrhea

Addition of acupuncture to usual care may be cost effective

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A course of acupuncture is a cost-effective and beneficial addition to usual care for dysmenorrhea, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Claudia M. Witt, M.D., of Charite University Medical Center in Berlin, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study of 649 women of whom 201 were randomized to receive 15 sessions of acupuncture over three months or to a control group that received only the usual care. Those who declined randomization also received acupuncture.

At the three-month mark, patients in the acupuncture group reported lower average pain intensity than those in the control group: 3.1 versus 5.4 on a scale of zero to 10. Patients in the acupuncture group also reported better quality of life but their treatment costs were higher.

"Our study provides further evidence that acupuncture is a safe intervention. This is in agreement with large, previously published surveys. When interpreting these findings, however, it must be kept in mind that all acupuncture in this study was administered by physicians," the authors write. "The present study showed that acupuncture was associated with additional costs but was highly cost effective."

The study was funded by health insurance companies in Germany.

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