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The Analgesic Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation on Labor: A Randomized Control Study

Authors Qi WH, Miao WJ, Ji YZ, Li C, Wang JH

Received 11 November 2020

Accepted for publication 27 January 2021

Published 22 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 559—569

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S291699

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Wei-Hong Qi,1,* Wei-Juan Miao,2,* Yu-Zhi Ji,1 Chao Li,1 Jun-Huan Wang1

1Department of Obstetrics, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, 266000, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Obstetrics, Ri-Zhao People’s Hospital, Ri Zhao, 276800, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Wei-Hong Qi
Department of Obstetrics, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, No. 59 of Haier Road, LaoShan District, Qingdao, Shandong, 266000, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 532-82913296
Fax +86 532-82913018
Email qiweihong45@163.com

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the analgesic effect of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) on labor.
Methods: Primiparas with single birth and head presentation were enrolled in this study and randomly divided into three groups: TEAS group (n = 76), patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) group (n = 75), and control group without any analgesic measures (n = 78).
Results: Compared with the control group, the visual analog scores of the TEAS group and the PCEA group at each time point decreased (P < 0.01). The decrease was greater in the PCEA group than that in the TEAS group (P < 0.01). At 120 minutes after analgesia, there were significant differences in plasma β-endorphin content between the TEAS group, PCEA group, and control group (P < 0.01). The difference between the PCEA group and the control group was statistically significant (P < 0.01). Among the parturients having a vaginal delivery, the duration of the first stage of labor was significantly shorter in the TEAS group and control group than in the PCEA group (P < 0.01). The duration of the second stage of labor was significantly shorter in the TEAS group than in the PCEA group (P < 0.01). Oxytocin usage rate during labor was significantly lower in the TEAS group and control group than in the PCEA group (P < 0.01), and adverse reactions were significantly fewer in the TEAS group and control group than in the PCEA group (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: The duration of the first and second stage of labor is significantly shorter in the TEAS group than in the PCEA group. TEAS does not increase the use rate of oxytocin or the rate of cesarean section and will not bring about obvious maternal or fetal adverse reactions.

Keywords: labor analgesia, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, patient-controlled epidural analgesia, visual analog score of pain, β-endorphin

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