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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 8 (2008), Pages 670-682
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2008.86
Review

Efficacy of Acupuncture for Health Conditions in Children: A Review

1Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Santa Monica, CA, USA
2Pediatric Pain Program, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Received 11 December 2007; Revised 20 April 2008; Accepted 7 May 2008

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2008 Jean Libonate et al.

Abstract

Acupuncture has been used to treat a variety of childhood problems; however, the efficacy and safety of pediatric acupuncture remains unclear. This article reviews the existing empirical literature relating to the use of acupuncture for medical conditions in children. A systematic search of the literature revealed that acupuncture has been used to treat five main conditions in children, including pain, nocturnal enuresis, postoperative nausea/vomiting, laryngospasm/stridor, and neurological disorders. Despite a number of methodological issues, including limited sample sizes, lack of randomization, and inappropriate control groups, it is concluded that acupuncture represents a promising intervention for a variety of pediatric health conditions. To further address the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of acupuncture in children, large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed.