Auricular acupressure for overweight and obese individuals: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jun ;98(26):e16144. PMID: 31261540
BACKGROUND: Auricular acupressure has been used for treating obesity, but inconsistent outcomes have been reported. Moreover, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have seldom addressed the effects of auricular acupressure and duration of treatment in overweight/obese individuals. This study reviewed research articles on auricular acupressure for weight reduction, analyzed the related effects on obesity, and explored the relationships between weight reduction and treatment duration, as well as outcome variables.
METHODS: We searched PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, MEDLINE with Full Text, National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertation in Taiwan, and Airiti Library for articles up to July 4, 2018. Eight eligible trials were identified for qualitative synthesis, and one of them was excluded from quantitative synthesis. Inclusion criteria were as follows: intervention contained auricular acupressure, study subjects were overweight and/or obese, as defined by published authors, and the study design had 2 or more arms for comparison.
RESULTS: Pooled analysis of the 7 remaining studies revealed that auricular acupressure alone, or with diet and/or exercise, was effective for weight reduction, particularly for decreasing body weight (BW), body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), body fat mass (BFM), and body fat percentage (BFP), compared with no treatment, sham treatment, or use of surgical tape with diet and/or exercise. However, there was no effect on hip circumference. A 12-week acupressure intervention was associated with a larger effect on lowering BW and BMI compared with 4-, 6-, and 8-week interventions. The methodologic quality of trials included in the quantitative synthesis ranged from scores 2 to 6 based on the modified Jadad scale. Additionally, this meta-analysis combined studies that used different acupoints and outcomes evaluated at different timepoints, which may have been potential sources of bias.
CONCLUSION: The study results indicate that auricular acupressure is effective for weight reduction. However, further vigorous studies that use double-blind randomized controlled design are needed to verify these findings. WC, WHR, BFP, or BFM should be used as obesity-related parameters in weight reduction studies to detect changes in fat, muscle, and skeletal weight.