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21/02/2012 - Met-analysis on randomized controlled clinical trials of acupuncture and moxibustion on constipation

Country: China

Institute: College of Acupuncture and Tuina Massage, Changchun University of CM, Changchun 130117, Jilin Province, China.

Author(s): Du WF, Yu L, Yan XK, Wang FC.

Journal: Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Jan;32(1):92-6.



To assess the efficacy of acupuncture and moxibustion on constipation.


A retrieval on literatures concerning treatment of constipation with acupuncture was carried out in databases of VIP, CNKI, WANFANG and PubMed. And meta-analyses were conducted on randomized controlled trial (RCT) and controlled clinical trial (CCT) which met the enrolling requirements.


A total number of 15 papers involving 1 052 patients were concluded. The result indicated that the curative rate of acupuncture and moxibustion on constipation is better than ordinary medication (RR = 1.92, 95% CI 1.61-2.30, Z = 7.18, P < 0.000 01). And statistical significance can be found between acupuncture-moxibustion treatment and the routine medicine treatment (RR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.18-1.34, Z = 7.26, P < 0.000 01). In the comparison of abdominal pain, defecation duration and general symptom scores, statistical significance can be found between the differences of acupuncture and moxibustion group and control group (abdominal pain: WMD = -0.22, 95% CI-0.32-0.12, Z = 4.28, P < 0.000 1; defecation duration: WMD = -0.47, 95% CI-0.79-0.15, Z = 2.85, P < 0.004; general symptom scores: WMD = -0.41, 95% CI-0.79-0.03, Z = 2.13, P = 0.03).


Acupuncture and moxibustion is effective to treat constipation. It has certain advantage when compare with the routine medication treatment. However, since singleness still exists in the index of assessment on therapeutic effect of constipation, and the number of RCT and CCT literatures, especially high-quality, large samples and multi-center reports were still not enough, further studies are still necessary for approving the above conclusions.

Pubmed ID: 22295840