Sleep disorders in patients with depression or schizophrenia: A randomized controlled trial using acupuncture treatment
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine, 8, 5, (2016), pp. 789-796
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
European Journal of Integrative Medicine
SubjectBiological psychology; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Biologische psychologie
Introduction: The purpose of this preliminary clinical trial was to investigate whether acupuncture has a positive influence on sleep and symptomatology in patients with schizophrenia or depression. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was used. One hundred participants were recruited: 40 outpatients with schizophrenia, 40 with depression, and 20 healthy controls. They all filled in a depression inventory, and the positive and negative symptoms of the patients with schizophrenia were evaluated by their psychiatrists. All participants were asked to complete a sleep log for two weeks. For the psychiatric patients, a randomized design with experimental (three months of acupuncture treatment) and control (waitlist) conditions was used, after which all measurements were conducted once more. Results: Before treatment, patients with depression were awake longer during the night, needed more time to fall asleep, evaluated their sleep as less relaxed, felt more exhausted, and reported a lower average performance level than healthy controls did. Moreover, patients with depression slept shorter and felt more exhausted than patients with schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia solely reported a lower average performance level compared to healthy controls. Acupuncture slightly improved sleep and depressive symptoms in patients with depression, but did not affect sleep nor influence positive and negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Conclusion: These preliminary data suggest that acupuncture can be used in order to reduce symptoms and improve sleep to some extent in patients with depression, but as a result of the lack of comparative data, it is impossible to reliably say anything about its effects for patients with schizophrenia.
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