Acupuncture for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled trial

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Abstract

Background:

Acupuncture has been suggested to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in China. However, current evidence is insufficient to draw a firm conclusion regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture in COPD. Therefore, this multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture for treating patients with COPD.

Methods:

This is a two-arm, parallel group, multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled trial with concealed allocation, and participants, assessor, and analyst blinding. Seventy-two participants with COPD were recruited and randomly divided into 2 groups (real acupuncture group and sham acupuncture group) in a 1:1 ratio. Patients received either real or sham needling at the same acupoints 3 times weekly for 8 weeks. The primary outcome was dyspnea on exertion evaluated using the 6-minute walk test. In addition, health-related quality of life was also evaluated. Measurements were obtained at baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment.

Results:

Six-minute walking distance measurements and health-related quality of life were significantly better in the real acupuncture group than that in the sham acupuncture group.

Conclusion:

The findings suggest that acupuncture can be used as an adjunctive therapy to reduce dyspnea in patients with COPD.

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