Effectiveness and safety of moxibustion for alleviating symptoms of overactive bladder: A prospective, randomized controlled, crossover-design, pilot study

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Background:This study aimed to evaluate trial feasibility and explore the potential efficacy and safety of moxibustion in the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB).Method:A randomized, controlled, cross-over, assessor blinded design was used. This study was conducted in an outpatient department of a university hospital in Republic of Korea. The overall study period was 8 weeks. Participants were randomly allotted to either Group A or Group B. Group A participants underwent 8 to 12 sessions of moxibustion with behavioral training during the first 4 weeks, while the Group B participants received behavioral training only. Over the next 4 weeks, the treatment offered to the 2 groups was reversed (Group A participants received behavioral training only, while Group B participants underwent the moxibustion session with behavioral training). The OAB-validated 8-question awareness tool (OAB-V8), OAB symptom scores (OABSS), visual analog scale (VAS) for lower urinary tract symptoms, and frequency voiding chart were used to assess outcomes. For analysis, we used effect size, measured as Hedge's g, to present descriptive results indicating the actual difference between the groups.Results:Compared to that in Group B, the Hedge's g of OAB-V8 for the former 4 weeks in Group A was −0.248, that of OABSS was −1.531, and that of VAS was −0.713. During the latter 4 weeks, Group B showed similar effect with g = 0.465, 1.207, and 0.427 for OAB-V8, OABSS, and VAS, respectively, compared to Group A. The portion of nocturnal voiding volume decreased (g = −0965), the mean voiding volume increased (g = 0.690), and the voiding frequency decreased (g = −0.498) with moxibustion.Conclusions:Moxibustion might be considered as an alternative for OAB. A full-sized randomized controlled trial may be feasible with minimal modification in outcome measures and comparator population.Other information:This clinical trial has been registered on clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02271607).

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