Objective To systematically review the effectiveness of acupoint massage versus normal treatments for acute mastitis. Methods Databases including CNKI, Wanfang database, VIP, Pubmed, Web of science and Cochrane were searched to collect randomized controlled trials (RCTs) about acupoint massage versus normal treatments for acute mastitis from inception to October 2018. Two reviewers independently screened literature, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias of included studies. Then meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3.3 software.
Results A total of 16 RCTs involving 2056 patients were included. The results of meta-analysis showed that, compared with normal treatments, acupoint massage could improve the efficiency of clinical treatment [RR = 1.18, 95% CI (1.13, 1.22), P< 0.00001], shorten onset time[MD=-1.69, 95% CI (-1.89, -1.41), P<0.00001], decrease the lump size [MD=-2.64, 95% CI (-4.46, -0.82), P=0.005], and decrease the score of symptoms and signs[MD=-3.88, 95% CI (-7.50, -0.27), P=0.04]. However, there was no significant difference in recurrence rate[RR=0.41, 95% CI (0.11, 1.57), P=0.19] and cure rate[RR=11.82, 95% CI (0.50, 282.04), P=0.13].
Conclusion The current evidence shows that, compared with normal treatments, acupoint massage can improve the efficiency of clinical treatment, shorten the onset time, and decrease the lump size. Due to the limited quality of included studies, more high quality studies are needed to verify the above conclusion.