Objective This study was undertaken to test the effects of acupuncture on insomnia in a group of pregnant women under real life conditions, and to compare the results with a group of patients undergoing conventional treatment alone (sleep hygiene).
Methods A total of 30 conventionally treated pregnant women were allocated at random into groups with or without acupuncture. Seventeen patients formed the study group and 13 the control group. The pregnant women scored the severity of insomnia using a Numerical Rating Scale from 0 to 10. Women were followed up for eight weeks and interviewed five times, at two-week intervals.
Results Eight women dropped out, five in the study group and three in the control group. The study group reported a larger reduction on insomnia rating (5.1) than the control group (0.0), a difference which was statistically significant (P=0.0028). Average insomnia scores decreased by at least 50% over time in nine (75%) patients in the study group and in three (30%) of the control group.
Conclusion The results of this study suggest that acupuncture alleviates insomnia during pregnancy and further research is justified.
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