Effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation on Patients with Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Prospective, Single-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study



Effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Acupoint Stimulation on Patients with Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Prospective, Single-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study

Journal Publication

Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine







Research Type



DYSPNEA -- Diagnosis
OBSTRUCTIVE lung diseases -- Treatment
WALKING -- Evaluation
ACTIVE oxygen in the body
RESEARCH -- Finance
RESPIRATORY measurements
RESPIRATORY function tests
SAMPLING (Statistics)
STATISTICAL hypothesis testing
T-test (Statistics)
TRANSCUTANEOUS electrical nerve stimulation
STATISTICAL power analysis
STATISTICAL significance
RANDOMIZED controlled trials
VISUAL analog scale
TREATMENT effectiveness
PRE-tests & post-tests
VITAL capacity (Respiration)
DATA analysis -- Software
DESCRIPTIVE statistics


Objectives: To evaluate the clinical effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation over acupoints (acu-TENS) on patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Design: Prospective, single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Settings/Locations: Outpatient center of West China Hospital, Sichuan University. Patients: Fifty patients with stable COPD enrolled in the study. Interventions: Patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the acu-TENS group ( n=25), who underwent acu-TENS over acupoints of bilateral EX-B-1( Dingchuan), BL-13 ( Feishu), BL-23 ( Shenshu), ST-36 ( Zusanli), and the placebo acu-TENS control group ( n=25), who had the same electrode placement but no electrical output. Treatments were performed for 40-minute sessions every 2 days for 4 weeks. Outcome measures: Lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second, percentage predicted (FEV1% predicted); forced vital capacity, percentage predicted (FVC% predicted), 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and oxygen saturation (SpO2), COPD assessment test (CAT), and Dyspnea Visual Analogue Scale (DVAS) were assessed before and after the intervention. Results: Compared to control group, FEV1% predicted was improved and CAT score was decreased significantly in the acu-TENS group after treatment ( p<0.05). The DVAS score decreased significantly in the acu-TENS group ( p=0.039), with a slight but insignificant improve in 6MWD, SpO2, and FVC% predicted after treatment. Conclusions: Acu-TENS over acupoints of bilateral EX-B-1 ( Dingchuan), BL-13 ( Feishu), BL-23 ( Shenshu), and ST-36 ( Zusanli) improved FEV1% predicted and reduced DVAS and CAT scores on patients with stable COPD. This may be a novel treatment strategy in COPD.


Accession Number: 110221560; Source Information: Oct2015, Vol. 21 Issue 10, p610; Subject Term: DYSPNEA -- Diagnosis; Subject Term: OBSTRUCTIVE lung diseases -- Treatment; Subject Term: WALKING -- Evaluation; Subject Term: ACTIVE oxygen in the body; Subject Term: ACUPUNCTURE points; Subject Term: ALTERNATIVE medicine; Subject Term: LONGITUDINAL method; Subject Term: PROBABILITY theory; Subject Term: RESEARCH -- Finance; Subject Term: RESPIRATORY measurements; Subject Term: RESPIRATORY function tests; Subject Term: SAMPLING (Statistics); Subject Term: STATISTICAL hypothesis testing; Subject Term: T-test (Statistics); Subject Term: TRANSCUTANEOUS electrical nerve stimulation; Subject Term: STATISTICAL power analysis; Subject Term: STATISTICAL significance; Subject Term: BODY mass index; Subject Term: RANDOMIZED controlled trials; Subject Term: VISUAL analog scale; Subject Term: TREATMENT effectiveness; Subject Term: PRE-tests & post-tests; Subject Term: VITAL capacity (Respiration); Subject Term: BLIND experiment; Subject Term: DATA analysis -- Software; Subject Term: DESCRIPTIVE statistics; Subject Term: ; Geographic Subject: CHINA; Geographic Subject: ; Number of Pages: 7p; ; Illustrations: 1 Diagram, 2 Charts, 1 Graph; ; Document Type: Article;

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