Six-month depression relapse rates among women treated with acupuncture

S. M. Gallagher, J. J.B. Allen, S. K. Hitt, R. N. Schnyer, R. Manber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Conventional treatments for Major Depression, although reasonably effective, leave many without lasting relief. Alternative approaches would therefore be welcome for both short- and long-term treatment of depression. Thirty-eight women were randomized to one of three treatment conditions in a double-blind randomized controlled trial of acupuncture in depression. All participants eventually received eight weeks of acupuncture treatment specifically for depression. From among the 33 women who completed treatment, 26 (79%) were interviewed at six-month follow-up. Relapse rates were comparable to those of established treatments, with four of the 17 women (24%) who achieved full remission at the conclusion of treatment experiencing a relapse six months later. Compared to other empirically validated treatments, acupuncture designed specifically to treat major depression produces results that are comparable in terms of rates of response and of relapse or recurrence. These results suggest a larger trial of acupuncture in the acute- and maintenance-phase treatment of depression is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-218
Number of pages3
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Acupuncture
  • Major depression
  • Recurrence
  • Relapse
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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