Evaluating the efficacy of oxytocin for pain management: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Mekhael, Anastasia (2022) Evaluating the efficacy of oxytocin for pain management: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Currently available treatments for chronic pain rarely result in full recovery, indicating the need for an analgesic that is non-addictive and effective. Oxytocin has recently gained attention for its potential analgesic properties. We searched Ovid MEDLINE®, Embase, PsycINFO and CINAHL (from January 2012 to February 2022) and the Clinicaltrials.gov website. Studies from 1950- 2012 were included from our published review (Rash et al., 2014). Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software was used where three or more studies reported on the same outcome. Narrative synthesis was performed for outcomes with less than three studies by calculating individual effect sizes. Searches returned 2,087 unique citations, 8 of which met inclusion criteria. 6 studies were included from Rash et al. (2014; N= 1,504). Three metaanalyses were conducted to evaluate the effect of exogenous oxytocin on pain, the association between endogenous oxytocin and self-reported pain ratings and the effect of exogenous oxytocin on self-reported depression. The effect of exogenous oxytocin on acute pain and emotional function, and the association between endogenous oxytocin and self-reported anxiety were narratively reviewed. There was a trend favouring oxytocin as an analgesic despite nonsignificant meta-analysis. Results from meta-analysis and narrative review were mixed and highlighted potential sex differences but heterogeneity in the included studies precludes definitive conclusions from being drawn. Future studies are imperative and should undertake more precise exploration of mechanisms of analgesic action to clarify inconsistency in the existing body of literature.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15627
Item ID: 15627
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-62)
Keywords: Oxytocin, Chronic Pain, Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, Analgesia
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: August 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/1XTP-5K86
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oxytocin; Chronic pain; Systematic reviews (Medical research); Meta-analysis; Analgesia

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