A randomised trial of electro-acupuncture for arthralgia related to aromatase inhibitor use

Item

Title

A randomised trial of electro-acupuncture for arthralgia related to aromatase inhibitor use

Author(s)

Journal Publication

Date

2014

volume

50(2)

pages

267-276

Research Type

RCT

Keywords

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Arthralgia is a common and debilitating side-effect experienced by breast cancer patients receiving aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and often results in premature drug discontinuation. METHODS: We conducted a randomised controlled trial of electro-acupuncture (EA) as compared to waitlist control (WLC) and sham acupuncture (SA) in postmenopausal women with breast cancer who self-reported arthralgia attributable to AIs. Acupuncturists performed 10 EA/SA treatments over 8 weeks using a manualised protocol with 2 Hz electro-stimulation delivered by a TENS unit. Acupuncturists administered SA using Streitberger (non-penetrating) needles at non-traditional acupuncture points without electro-stimulation. The primary end-point was pain severity by Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) between EA and WLC at Week 8; durability of response at Week 12 and comparison of EA to SA were secondary aims. FINDINGS: Of the 67 randomly assigned patients, mean reduction in pain severity was greater in the EA group than in the WLC group at Week 8 (-2.2 versus -0.2, p=0.0004) and at Week 12 (-2.4 versus -0.2, p<0.0001). Pain-related interference measured by BPI also improved in the EA group compared to the WLC group at both Week 8 (-2.0 versus 0.2, p=0.0006) and Week 12 (-2.1 versus -0.1, p=0.0034). SA produced a magnitude of change in pain severity and pain-related interference at Week 8 (-2.3, -1.5 respectively) and Week 12 (-1.7, -1.3 respectively) similar to that of EA. Participants in both EA and SA groups reported few minor adverse events. INTERPRETATIONS: Compared to usual care, EA produced clinically important and durable improvement in arthralgia related to AIs in breast cancer patients, and SA had a similar effect. Both EA and SA were safe.

doi

10.1016/j.ejca.2013.09.022

View on Pubmed

Frequency of Treatment

>1/WK

Time in Treatment

8 Weeks

has health condition studied

Pain

has study population number

67

Item sets