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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 670963, 5 pages
Research Article

The Effectiveness of Electroacupuncture for Functional Constipation: A Randomized, Controlled, Clinical Trial

1Second Clinic Medical School, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210000, China
2Department of Acupuncture, People’s Hospital of Jurong, Road 60, West Street of Huayang Town, Jurong, Zhenjiang 212400, China
3Anorectal Department, Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China

Received 21 May 2014; Revised 25 July 2014; Accepted 12 September 2014

Academic Editor: Jieyun Yin

Copyright © 2015 Nili Da et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Electroacupuncture (EA) has been reported to treat functional constipation (FC). The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of EA with different needle insertion method for FC. Methods. Sixty-seven participants were randomly assigned to control (EA with shallow puncture) and EA (with deep puncture) groups. Every patient received 5 treatments per week in the first two weeks, then 3 treatments per week during the following six weeks. Complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBM), spontaneous bowel movements (SBM), Bristol stool scores (BSS), and Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL) were assessed. Results. Both shallow and deep EA significantly increased CSBM frequency compared to the baseline. CSBM was increased from 0.50 ± 0.59/wk to 2.00 ± 1.67/wk with deep EA and from 0.48 ± 0.59/wk to 1.33 ± 1.09/wk with shallow EA (P < 0.05, resp.). Similar finding was noted in SBM. Deep EA was more potent than shallow EA (P < 0.05) during the treatment period. No difference was found on BSS and PAC-QOL between two groups. Conclusion. It is effective and safe with EA to treat FC. Studies with large sample size and long-term observation are needed for further investigation.