Acupuncture for treating hot flashes in breast cancer patients: an updated meta-analysis
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture for treatment of hot flash in women with breast cancer.
The aspects considered in this study included searching for 12 data bases until April 2015 and consulting reference lists of reviews and related articles. Additional features studied comprised all articles on human patients with breast cancer treated with needle acupuncture with or without electrical stimulation for the treatment of hot flashes. The methodological quality was assessed using the modified Jadad score.
The searches identified 12 relevant articles for inclusion. The meta-analysis without any subgroup or moderator failed to show favorable effects of acupuncture on reducing the frequency of hot flashes after intervention (n = 680, SMD = − 0.478, 95 % CI −0.397 to 0.241, P = 0.632) but exhibited marked heterogeneity of the results (Q value = 83.200, P = 0.000, I^2 = 83.17, τ^2 = 0.310).
The meta-analysis used had contradictory results and yielded no convincing evidence to suggest that acupuncture was an effective treatment of hot flash in patients with breast cancer. Multi-central studies including large sample size are required to investigate the efficiency of acupuncture for treating hot flash in patients with breast cancer.