AcuTrials

An investigation into the effectiveness of traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) for chronic stress in adults: a randomised controlled pilot study

Item

Title

An investigation into the effectiveness of traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) for chronic stress in adults: a randomised controlled pilot study

Date

2011

volume

17(1)

pages

16-21

Research Type

RCT

Abstract

AIMS: The aim of this exploratory, pragmatic randomised controlled trial was to investigate the effectiveness of traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA), using an individually targeted treatment protocol delivered by a traditionally trained Chinese acupuncturist. The trial examined the treatment of chronic stress as perceived and reported by the participants, with all its diversity of presenting symptoms, rather than using a cohort approach based on a single stress-related symptom. METHODS: Participants (n=18) with high self-reported stress levels were randomised into 3 groups. Group 1 received weekly TCA for 5 weeks; group 2 received weekly attention only (practitioner present and participant supine) for 5 weeks and group 3 acted as a waiting list control. The Perceived Stress Scale 14 (PSS-14) and the Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP) were completed before and after a 5-week intervention. RESULTS: After 5 weeks, group 1 reported significant changes in MYMOP profile score and both MYMOP reported symptoms (p<0.05); group 2 had significant changes in MYMOP profile score and 1 symptom (p<0.05); group 3 showed no changes. The PSS-14 scores decreased in all 3 groups, but the difference between pre- and post-study within and between the groups did not reach significance in this small study. In addition, there were self-reports of improvements for group 1 for other health problems encountered during treatment. LIMITATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS: The lack of clarity concerning the definition of stress makes it complex to investigate. This pilot study suggests that TCA may be successful in treating the symptoms of stress, through a combination of specific and non-specific effects; but may not relate directly to how a person perceives their stress.

Frequency of Treatment

1/WK

Time in Treatment

5 Weeks

has health condition studied

Mental Disorders

has study population number

18

Item sets