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Ann Oncol. 2012 May;23(5):1353-61. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr402. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Acupuncture compared with placebo acupuncture in radiotherapy-induced nausea--a randomized controlled study.

Author information

1
Division of Nursing Science, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. anna.enblom@ki.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is not known if verum (real) acupuncture is effective for nausea and vomiting (emesis) during radiotherapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We randomly treated 215 blinded cancer patients with verum: penetrating 'deqi' creating acupuncture (n = 109) or non-penetrating sham needles (n = 106) two to three times per week. The patients documented emesis daily during the radiotherapy period. Primary end point was the number of patients with at least one episode of nausea.

RESULTS:

In the verum and the sham acupuncture group, 70% and 62% experienced nausea at least once during the radiotherapy period (relative risk 1.1, 95% CI 0.9-1.4) for a mean number of 10.1 and 8.7 days. Twenty five percent and 28% vomited, and 42% and 37% used antiemetic drugs at least once, respectively. Ninety-five percent in the verum acupuncture group and 96% in the sham acupuncture group believed that the treatment had been effective against nausea. In both groups, 67% experienced positive effects on relaxation, mood, sleep or pain reduction and 89% wished to receive the treatment again.

CONCLUSION:

Acupuncture creating deqi is not more effective than sham in radiotherapy-induced nausea, but in this study, nearly all patients in both groups experienced that the treatment was effective for nausea.

PMID:
21948812
DOI:
10.1093/annonc/mdr402
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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