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Acupuncture or acupressure for induction of labour

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (96th percentile)

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Title
Acupuncture or acupressure for induction of labour
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd002962.pub4
Pubmed ID
Authors

Caroline A Smith, Mike Armour, Hannah G Dahlen

Abstract

This is one of a series of reviews of methods of cervical ripening and labour induction. The use of complementary therapies is increasing. Women may look to complementary therapies during pregnancy and childbirth to be used alongside conventional medical practice. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points of the body. Acupressure is using the thumbs or fingers to apply pressure to specific points. The limited observational studies to date suggest acupuncture for induction of labour has no known adverse effects to the fetus, and may be effective. However, the evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness of this technique is limited. To determine, from the best available evidence, the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture and acupressure for third trimester cervical ripening or induction of labour. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (30 November 2016), PubMed (1966 to 25 November 2016), ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (25 November 2016), CINAHL (25 November 2016), Embase (25 November 2016), the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Portal (ICTRP) (3 October 2016), and bibliographies of relevant papers. Randomised controlled trials comparing acupuncture or acupressure, used for third trimester cervical ripening or labour induction, with placebo/no treatment or other methods on a predefined list of labour induction methods. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias, extracted data, and checked them for accuracy. The quality of the evidence was assessed using GRADE. This updated review includes 22 trials, reporting on 3456 women. The trials using manual or electro-acupuncture were compared with usual care (eight trials, 760 women), sweeping of membranes (one trial, 207 women), or sham controls (seven trials, 729 women). Trials using acupressure were compared with usual care (two trials, 151 women) or sham controls (two trials, 239 women). Many studies had a moderate risk of bias.Overall, few trials reported on primary outcomes. No trial reported vaginal delivery not achieved within 24 hours and uterine hyperstimulation with fetal heart rate (FHR) changes. Serious maternal and neonatal death or morbidity were only reported under acupuncture versus sham control. Acupuncture versus sham control There was no clear difference in caesarean sections between groups (average risk ratio (RR) 0.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56 to 1.15, eight trials, 789 women; high-quality evidence). There were no reports of maternal death or perinatal death in the one trial that reported this outcome. There was evidence of a benefit from acupuncture in improving cervical readiness for labour (mean difference (MD) 0.40, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.69, one trial, 125 women), as measured by cervical maturity within 24 hours using Bishop's score. There was no evidence of a difference between groups for oxytocin augmentation, epidural analgesia, instrumental vaginal birth, meconium-stained liquor, Apgar score < 7 at five minutes, neonatal intensive care admission, maternal infection, postpartum bleeding greater than 500 mL, time from the trial to time of birth, use of induction methods, length of labour, and spontaneous vaginal birth. Acupuncture versus usual care There was no clear difference in caesarean sections between groups (average RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.51 to 1.17, eight trials, 760 women; low-quality evidence). There was an increase in cervical maturation for the acupuncture (electro) group compared with control (MD 1.30, 95% CI 0.11 to 2.49, one trial, 67 women) and a shorter length of labour (minutes) in the usual care group compared to electro-acupuncture (MD 124.00, 95% CI 37.39 to 210.61, one trial, 67 women).There appeared be a differential effect according to type of acupuncture based on subgroup analysis. Electro-acupuncture appeared to have more of an effect than manual acupuncture for the outcomes caesarean section (CS), and instrumental vaginal and spontaneous vaginal birth. It decreased the rate of CS (average RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.80, 3 trials, 327 women), increased the rate of instrumental vaginal birth (average RR 2.30, 95%CI 1.15 to 4.60, two trials, 271 women), and increased the rate of spontaneous vaginal birth (average RR 2.06, 95% CI 1.20 to 3.56, one trial, 72 women). However, subgroup analyses are observational in nature and so results should be interpreted with caution.There were no clear differences between groups for other outcomes: oxytocin augmentation, use of epidural analgesia, Apgar score < 7 at 5 minutes, neonatal intensive care admission, maternal infection, perineal tear, fetal infection, maternal satisfaction, use of other induction methods, and postpartum bleeding greater than 500 mL. Acupuncture versus sweeping if fetal membranes One trial of acupuncture versus sweeping of fetal membranes showed no clear differences between groups in caesarean sections (RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.34 to 1.22, one trial, 207 women, moderate-quality evidence), need for augmentation, epidural analgesia, instrumental vaginal birth, Apgar score < 7 at 5 minutes, neonatal intensive care admission, and postpartum bleeding greater than 500 mL. Acupressure versus sham control There was no evidence of benefit from acupressure in reducing caesarean sections compared to control (RR, 0.94, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.30, two trials, 239 women, moderate-quality evidence). There was no evidence of a clear benefit in reduced oxytocin augmentation, instrumental vaginal birth, meconium-stained liquor, time from trial intervention to birth of the baby, and spontaneous vaginal birth. Acupressure versus usual care There was no evidence of benefit from acupressure in reducing caesarean sections compared to usual care (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.53, two trials, 151 women, moderate-quality evidence). There was no evidence of a clear benefit in reduced epidural analgesia, Apgar score < 7 at 5 minutes, admission to neonatal intensive care, time from trial intervention to birth of the baby, use of other induction methods, and spontaneous vaginal birth. Overall, there was no clear benefit from acupuncture or acupressure in reducing caesarean section rate. The quality of the evidence varied between low to high. Few trials reported on neonatal morbidity or maternal mortality outcomes. Acupuncture showed some benefit in improving cervical maturity, however, more well-designed trials are needed. Future trials could include clinically relevant safety outcomes.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 121 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 121 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 23 19%
Student > Bachelor 21 17%
Unspecified 20 17%
Researcher 14 12%
Student > Postgraduate 10 8%
Other 33 27%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 50 41%
Nursing and Health Professions 33 27%
Unspecified 24 20%
Psychology 5 4%
Social Sciences 3 2%
Other 6 5%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 93. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 24 October 2019.
All research outputs
#179,675
of 13,716,069 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#401
of 10,723 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#8,469
of 316,769 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#9
of 256 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,716,069 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,723 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 316,769 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 256 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.