Acupuncture is well tolerated and therapeutic in treating acute exacerbation of COPD. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Pilot study to assess the credibility of acupuncture in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Acupunct Med. 2009 Mar;27(1):13-5. PMID: 19369188
BACKGROUND: Exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common reason for hospital admission, and adjunctive non-pharmacological treatments would be welcomed. A pilot study was undertaken to assess the feasibility of conducting a study of acupuncture during an acute exacerbation of COPD. We also examined the credibility of a sham device in this setting and assessed the effect of acupuncture on breathlessness and anxiety. METHODS: A prospective, randomised, patient- and assessor-blinded, sham controlled study was conducted on three consecutive days in a district general hospital. Credibility of both acupuncture and the Park sham device were assessed using the Borkovec and Nau questionnaire. Dyspnoea was measured on the modified Borg score and a 10 cm visual analogue scale, while anxiety was measured on a 10 cm visual analogue scale. RESULTS: 11 patients were recruited and nine completed the study. There were no adverse events with either intervention. Acupuncture was well tolerated and credibility scores were similar before and after real and sham acupuncture. Symptoms improved after both treatments, with no significant difference between groups. CONCLUSION: In this pilot study acupuncture was well tolerated by subjects experiencing an acute exacerbation of COPD. Acupuncture treatment and the Park sham device were both credible. Although recruitment was slow, a further trial with a larger sample size is feasible and recommended.