Impact of Electroacupuncture Treatment on Quality of Life and Heart Rate Variability in Fibromyalgia Patients

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Abstract

This study examines the effects of electroacupuncture treatment on health-related quality of life and heart rate variability in women with fibromyalgia. Twenty women with fibromyalgia received a 10-week treatment with electroacupuncture. Primary outcome measures were the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, the Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire, and heart rate variability. Compared with pretreatment, there was a significant improvement in health-related quality of life; electroacupuncture significantly increases low frequency, low frequency/high frequency, and decreases high frequency, all indicating rise in sympathetic tone. Fibromyalgia patients showed a significant (P < .05) improvement in pain, fatigue, morning tiredness, stiffness, anxiety, and depression on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores; and physical function, physical role, body pain, general health, and vitality scores on the Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire. These changes mainly in mental status scores could be related to a new autonomic balance with sympathetic predominance at the horary of the study.

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