The evidence for different frequencies of acupuncture treatment in postprandial distress syndrome (PDS) is insufficient. This study determined whether 3 sessions per week of acupuncture treatment are superior to 1 session per week for symptomatic outcomes in PDS.
This 16-week randomized clinical pilot trial was conducted in an outpatient setting in China. Patients with PDS were randomly assigned to receive 3 sessions per week of acupuncture (group H) or 1 session per week of acupuncture (group L) for 4 weeks. The primary outcome was the complete elimination of core symptoms at week 4. Secondary outcomes included overall treatment efficacy, dyspepsia symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression.
Sixty patients were randomized of whom 53 (88.3%) completed this trial. The complete elimination rate of core symptoms was 26.7% (95% CI 12.3%-45.9%) in group H and 10.0% (95% CI 2.1%-26.5%) in group L at week 4 (P = .095). There was a significant difference between H and group L at weeks 8, 12, and 16 (P = .038, .02, and .02). All secondary outcomes were better in group H at all time points. No serious adverse events occurred in either groups.
This trial showed that acupuncture, at 3 sessions per week, tended to improve symptoms and the quality of life among patients with PDS as compared to once a week. Acupuncture treatment for 4 weeks was feasible and safe. A larger sample, multicenter, randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for PDS appears to be justified in the future.

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.