Expectancy after the first treatment and response to acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes

Ee, C, Thuraisingam, S, Pirotta, M, French, S, Xue, C and Teede, H 2017, 'Expectancy after the first treatment and response to acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes', PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 1-13.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Expectancy after the first treatment and response to acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes
Author(s) Ee, C
Thuraisingam, S
Pirotta, M
French, S
Xue, C
Teede, H
Year 2017
Journal name PLoS ONE
Volume number 12
Issue number 10
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Public Library of Science
Abstract Background Evidence on the impact of expectancy on acupuncture treatment response is conflicting. Objectives This secondary analysis of a randomized sham-controlled trial on acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes investigated whether treatment expectancy score was associated with hot flash score at end-of-treatment. Secondary analyses investigated whether there were associations between other pre-specified factors and hot flash score. Study design Women experiencing moderately-severe hot flashes were randomized to receive 10 sessions of real or sham acupuncture over eight weeks. Hot flash score was collected using a seven-day hot flash diary, and expectancy using the modified Credibility and Expectancy Questionnaire immediately after the first treatment. Linear mixed-effects models with random intercepts were used to identify associations between expectancy score and hot flash score at end-of-treatment. Regression was also used to identify associations between pre-specified factors of interest and hot flash score. Because there was no difference between real and sham acupuncture for the primary outcome of hot flash score, both arms were combined in the analysis. Results 285 women returned the Credibility and Expectancy Questionnaire, and 283 women completed both expectancy measures. We found no evidence for an association between expectancy and hot flash score at end-of-treatment for individual cases in either acupuncture or sham group. Hot flash scores at end-of-treatment were 8.1 (95%CI, 3.0 to 13.2; P = 0.002) points lower in regular smokers compared to those who had never smoked, equivalent to four fewer moderate hot flashes a day. Conclusion In our study of acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes, higher expectancy after the first treatment did not predict better treatment outcomes. Future research may focus on other determinants of outcomes in acupuncture such as therapist attention. The relationship between smoking and hot flashes is poorly understood and needs further exploration.
Subject Traditional Chinese Medicine and Treatments
DOI - identifier 10.1371/journal.pone.0186966
Copyright notice © 2017 Ee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
ISSN 1932-6203
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