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Effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: a prospective randomised controlled study
  1. Daniela Isoyama,
  2. Emerson Barchi Cordts,
  3. Angela Mara Bentes de Souza van Niewegen,
  4. Waldemar de Almeida Pereira de Carvalho,
  5. Simone Tiemi Matsumura,
  6. Caio Parente Barbosa
  1. Serviço de Reprodução Humana, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Santo André, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Daniela Isoyama, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Serviço de Reprodução Humana, Santo André 09060-650, Brazil; daniela.isoyama{at}


Purpose To determine if acupuncture improves symptoms of anxiety in infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

Methods A randomised clinical trial was performed in 43 patients undergoing IVF. The patients were randomised into two groups: test group (n=22) and control group (n=21). The anxiety level of each patient was analysed before and after treatment using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAS). Treatment sessions consisted of four weekly sessions. In the test group, needles were inserted at points HT7, PC6, CV17, GV20 and Yintang. In the control group, needles were inserted in areas near but not corresponding to acupuncture points.

Results The mean HAS score after the 4-week experimental period was significantly lower in the test group than in the control group (19.4±3.2 vs 24.4±4.2; p=0.0008).

Conclusions The results indicate that acupuncture can reduce anxiety symptoms observed by the reduction of psychological parameters of women undergoing IVF. Further evidence should be sought as to whether acupuncture might be a complementary option for patients undergoing IVF.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from the Committee in Research of the Faculty of Medicine, ABC, number 073/2009.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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