AcuTrials

Acupuncture in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized trial

Item

Title

Acupuncture in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized trial

Journal Publication

Date

2013

volume

158(4)

pages

225-234

Research Type

RCT

Abstract

Chinese translation BACKGROUND: Acupuncture is frequently used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) despite limited scientific evidence. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of acupuncture in patients with SAR. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled multicenter trial. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00610584) SETTING: 46 specialized physicians in 6 hospital clinics and 32 private outpatient clinics. PATIENTS: 422 persons with SAR and IgE sensitization to birch and grass pollen. INTERVENTION: Acupuncture plus rescue medication (RM) (cetirizine) (n = 212), sham acupuncture plus RM (n = 102), or RM alone (n = 108). Twelve treatments were provided over 8 weeks in the first year. MEASUREMENTS: Changes in the Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) overall score and the RM score (RMS) from baseline to weeks 7 and 8 and week 16 in the first year and week 8 in the second year after randomization, with predefined noninferiority margins of -0.5 point (RQLQ) and -1.5 points (RMS). RESULTS: Compared with sham acupuncture and with RM, acupuncture was associated with improvement in RQLQ score (sham vs. acupuncture mean difference, 0.5 point [97.5% CI, 0.2 to 0.8 point; P < 0.001]; RM vs. acupuncture mean difference, 0.7 point [97.5% CI, 0.4 to 1.0 point; P < 0.001]) and RMS (sham vs. acupuncture mean difference, 1.1 points [97.5% CI, 0.4 to 1.9 points; P < 0.001]; RM vs. acupuncture mean difference, 1.5 points [97.5% CI, 0.8 to 2.2 points; P < 0.001]). There were no differences after 16 weeks in the first year. After the 8-week follow-up phase in the second year, small improvements favoring real acupuncture over the sham procedure were noted (RQLQ mean difference, 0.3 point [95% CI, 0.03 to 0.6 point; P = 0.032]; RMS mean difference, 1.0 point [95% CI, 0.2 to 1.9 points; P = 0.018]). LIMITATION: The study was not powered to detect rare adverse events, and the RQLQ and RMS values were low at baseline. CONCLUSION: Acupuncture led to statistically significant improvements in disease-specific quality of life and antihistamine use measures after 8 weeks of treatment compared with sham acupuncture and with RM alone, but the improvements may not be clinically significant.

doi

10.7326/0003-4819-158-4-201302190-00002

Frequency of Treatment

>1/WK

Time in Treatment

8 Weeks

has health condition studied

Respiratory Tract Diseases

has study population number

422

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