Comparison of the effect of two types of acupuncture on quality of life in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: a preliminary single-blind randomized controlled trial

Author: Donnellan CP, Shanley J.
Neuro-Rehabilitation Unit, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham.
Conference/Journal: Clin Rehabil
Date published: 2008 Mar
Other: Volume ID: 22 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 195-205 , Word Count: 244

Objective: To compare the effect of two types of acupuncture on the quality of life of individuals with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and provide preliminary evidence regarding the safety of this intervention for this population.Design: Preliminary single-blind randomized controlled trial.Setting: Outpatient attendance at rehabilitation unit.Participants: Fourteen participants with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.Interventions: Chinese medical acupuncture or minimal acupuncture. Participants received 10 treatments over five weeks.Measures: Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale 29, Fatigue Severity Scale and General Health Questionnaire 12 were measured pre and post intervention. Adverse events and other responses during treatment were recorded prospectively.Results: Participants receiving minimal acupuncture demonstratedstatistically significant greater improvement in the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale 29 psychological subscale compared with those receiving Chinese medical acupuncture in an intention-to-treat analysis (P=0.04), with mean change in Chinese acupuncture group of 6.0 (SD 13.9) and in minimal acupuncture group of 23.0 (SD 21.0). No other statistically significant difference between the groups was found. No major adverse events were noted. Minor adverse events such as lower limb muscle spasms or pain were noted in some participants in both intervention groups.Conclusion: Minimal acupuncture resulted in greater improvement of Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale 29 psychological subscale compared with Chinese medical acupuncture. No other differences between the groups were found. In view of the small sample these results are not conclusive. This study provides preliminary evidence to suggest that acupuncture is safe for people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. A large-scale trial is required to provide more definitive evidence.
PMID: 18285429