Acupuncture as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of eating disorders: A randomised cross-over pilot study
Available online 18 October 2010.
This study examines the role of acupuncture as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of eating disorders in female patients.
A randomised cross-over study was used in this study. The two treatments phases were the private multi-disciplinary outpatient eating disorder facility in Melbourne, Australia, only (referred to as their treatment as usual) and a continuation of their treatment as usual supplemented by acupuncture.
Patients receiving treatment at a private multi-disciplinary outpatient eating disorder facility in Melbourne, Australia were asked to participate in the study. Nine consenting women (5 with Anorexia Nervosa, 4 with Bulimia Nervosa), aged (mean and SD) 23.7 (9.6) years, participated in the study.
Main outcome measures
The main outcome measure was the Eating Disorder Inventory-3. Secondary outcome measures were the Becks Depression Inventory-2, State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Eating Disorder Quality of Life Scale.
There was evidence that acupuncture improved the participants’ Quality of Life as measured by the physical/cognitive and psychological components of the Eating Disorder Quality of Life scale. There was also evidence of decreases in anxiety (both State and Trait as measured by the State Trait Anxiety Intervention) and perfectionism (as measured by the Eating Disorder Inventory-3).
This pilot study shows potential of the benefit of acupuncture as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of eating disorders particularly in the area of quality of life.
Keywords: Acupuncture; Eating disorders; Anorexia Nervosa; Bulimia Nervosa