The Effectiveness of Electro-acupuncture in Reducing Body Weight in Obese Patients: A Meta-Analysis


  • Nurmila Mutiah Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret
  • Bhisma Murti Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret
  • Hanung Prasetya School of Health Polytechnics, Ministry of Health Surakarta


Background: Obesity is a problem that is starting to be found, not only in urban areas with high socioeconomic status but also in children living in rural areas, even from middle to lower socio­economic groups. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of electro-acupuncture in obesity cases.

Subjects and Method: Meta-analysis was carried out with PICO: The population in this study were obese patients aged 16-65. The intervention was in the form of electro-acupuncture therapy. Comparison in the form of sham/ placebo acupuncture. The outcome is weight loss. A meta-analysis study was applied with electronic data sources: Clinical Key, Google Scholar, MED­LINE/PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus. The articles included were full-text with a Ran­domized Control Trial (RCT) study design. There were 10 articles used in this study with a sam­ple size of 818 people who were divided into two groups (455 people in the acupuncture group and 363 people in the sham/placebo acupuncture group). Articles were analyzed using the Review Manager 5.4 application. The data were analyzed using Standardized Mean difference (SMD) and the heterogeneity of the research sample.

Results: There was high heterogeneity between one experiment and another (I2= 86%; p<0.001), so the Random Effect Model (REM) was used. Electroacupuncture therapy was effective in reducing body weight with a Standardized Mean Different (SMD) of 0.50 compared to false acupuncture (SMD= -0.50; 95% CI= -0.92 to -0.08; p= 0.020).

Conclusion: Acupuncture therapy can lose weight in obesity cases with a Standardized Mean Different (SMD) of 0.50 compared to fake acupuncture.

Keywords: acupuncture, obesity

Correspondence: Nurmila Mutiah. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. Email: +6287730797747.

Indonesian Journal of Medicine (2021), 06(03): 325-335­10.26911/theijmed.­2021.06.03.10



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