A study of the treatment of idiopathic sensory urgency using acupuncture

By Patricia Hunter


This is a study of the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of women with idiopathic sensory urgency (ISU). This condition involves combinations of urinary symptoms, comprising principally, frequency, urgency and dysuria. It is a chronic problem, which is difficult to treat, and does not necessarily respond well to the treatments that are available in the NHS at present. Accordingly, four patients were selected in collaboration with the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and given a full Traditional Chinese Medical diagnosis, and a course of 10 acupuncture treatments. They are reported here in the form of n = 1 case studies. Objective outcomes were measured by use of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital Input/output chart, with more subjective data being gathered from the King’s Health Questionnaire, to monitor any changes in general well-being and lifestyle. Measurements were taken before and after treatment, and after a 2-month follow up period. Of the four patients, two responded well to the treatment as measured by all the indicators employed, while the other two remained essentially as they were before the study began. It is considered that such a positive outcome of this study suggests that in the future an enlarged pragmatic trial may be justified.