Effectiveness of acupuncture-type interventions versus expectant management to correct breech presentation: A systematic review
Objective: A systematic review of studies assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture-type interventions (moxibustion, acupuncture, or electro-acupuncture) on acupuncture point BL 67 to correct breech presentation compared to expectant management, based on controlled trials. Data sources: Articles published from 1980 to May 2007 in databases of Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, AMED, NCCAM, Midirs and reference lists. Study selection: Studies included were original articles; randomised controlled trials (RCT) or controlled cohort studies; acupuncture-type intervention on BL 67 compared with expectant management; ultrasound confirmed breech presentation and position of the fetus after treatment confirmed with ultrasound, position at delivery, and/or the proportion of caesarean sections reported. Data extraction: Three reviewers independently extracted data. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. Data synthesis: Of 65 retrieved citations, six RCT's and three cohort studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Data were pooled using random-effects models. In the RCT's the pooled proportion of breech presentations was 34% (95% CI: 20-49%) following treatment versus 66% (95% CI: 55-77%) in the control group (OR 0.25 95% CI: 0.11-0.58). The pooled proportion in the cohort studies was 15% (95% CI: 1-28%) versus 36% (95% CI: 14-58%), (OR 0.29, 95% CI: 0.19-0.43). Including all studies the pooled proportion was 28% (95% CI: 16-40%) versus 56% (95% CI: 43-70%) (OR 0.27, 95% CI: 0.15-0.46). Conclusions: Our results suggest that acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67 are effective in correcting breech presentation compared to expectant management. Some studies were of inferior quality to others and further RCT's of improved quality are necessary to adequately answer the research question.