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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 7823278, 6 pages
Research Article

Acupuncture for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

1Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, Catholic University of Daegu, Gyeongsan-si, Republic of Korea
2Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, Daegu University, Gyeongsan-si, Republic of Korea
3Department of Physiology, College of Oriental Medicine, Daegu Haany University, Daegu, Republic of Korea
4Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Chae Ha Yang; and Cheongtag Kim;

Received 1 December 2016; Accepted 25 December 2016; Published 12 January 2017

Academic Editor: Kwang Choi

Copyright © 2017 Na Young Shin 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.


Empirical research has produced mixed results regarding the effects of acupuncture on the treatment of alcohol use disorder in humans. Few studies have provided a comprehensive review or a systematic overview of the magnitude of the treatment effect of acupuncture on alcoholism. This study investigated the effects of acupuncture on alcohol-related symptoms and behaviors in patients with this disorder. The PubMed database was searched until 23 August 2016, and reference lists from review studies were also reviewed. Seventeen studies were identified for a full-text inspection, and seven (243 patients) of these met our inclusion criteria. The outcomes assessed at the last posttreatment point and any available follow-up data were extracted from each of the studies. Our meta-analysis demonstrated that an acupuncture intervention had a stronger effect on reducing alcohol-related symptoms and behaviors than did the control intervention (). A beneficial but weak effect of acupuncture treatment was also found in the follow-up data (). Although our analysis showed a significant difference between acupuncture and the control intervention in patients with alcohol use disorder, this meta-analysis is limited by the small number of studies included. Thus, a larger cohort study is required to provide a firm conclusion.