Acupuncture Therapyy to Reduce Constipation: Meta-Analysis

Muslihatin Khuril Rosyida


Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret



Background: Pharmacologic agents, such as stimulants or lubricant laxatives, often used to relieve the constipation. However, it can induce abdominal pain, bloating, watery stools, and fecal incontinence. In addition, long-term use of stimulant laxatives may result in adverse effects, such as melanosis coli and cathartic colon. There is a need on nonpharmacologic approach to overcome constipation. This study aimed to examine the effect of acupuncture therapyy to reduce constipation using meta-analysis.

Subjects and Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted by PRISMA flow diagram. The articles were collected from Google Scholar, Pubmed, and Science Direct databases. Keywords used “Acupuncture” AND “Constipation”, “Acu­puncture for constipation” AND “RCT”. Eligibility criteria were defined using the PICO model as follows, (1) population: patients with constipation, (2) intervention: acupunc­ture therapy, (3) comparison: sham acupuncture, and (4) outcome: constipation. The inclusion criteria were full text randomized controlled trial published from year 2011 to 2021. Articles that met the criteria were analyzed by Revman 5.3.

Results: 6 randomized controlled trial from China and Korea were included in this meta analysis. This study found that acupuncture therapy was effective to reduce constipation (Standardized Mean Difference= -1.40; 95% CI= -2.74 to -0.06; p= 0.040). I2= 99% represent high heterogeneity between studies. Therefore, the random effects model was used to combine the studies’ results.

Conclusion: Acupuncture therapy was effective to reduce constipation.

Keywords: acupuncture, constipation, randomized control trial

Correspondence: Muslihatin Khuril Rosyida. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret. Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta 57126, Central Java. Email: khurilrosyida@­gmail.­com. Mobile: 08564713149


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