Article Text


Acupuncture as an alternative to diazepam sedation for diagnostic gastrointestinal endoscopy
  1. Anthony Stellon1,
  2. Terence Palmer2
  1. 1
    The Abbey Practice, 107 London Road, Temple Ewell, Dover, Kent, CT16 3BY (UK)
  2. 2477 Commonside East, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 IHJ (UKI, Email: t.palmer{at}


    A study was undertaken to compare the differences in ease of intubation, emotional distress and physical discomfort during oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy in 3 groups of patients: sedated with intravenous diazepam, receiving acupuncture, or being part of a control group having neither treatment. Patients were given the option of sedation. Those that declined were randomly divided into two groups, either receiving acupuncture or acting as a control.

    Patient distress was measured by two independent methods: direct observation by the attending nurse and a self-report questionnaire. The observed and self-reported physical discomfort were significantly reduced in the sedation group compared to controls, but there was no significant difference in any measurement between the acupuncture and the control groups. Respiratory complications were least in the acupuncture group and there was some evidence of benefit from acupuncture in relieving emotional distress.

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