Asthma symptoms triggered by allergens could lead to allergic asthma. A large randomized controlled, pragmatic trial that included 1445 patients with allergic asthma has recently found acupuncture to be added in the routine care and showed improvements in both the quality of life, physical and mental health for those receiving acupuncture.
In the article entitled “Acupuncture in Patients with Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Pragmatic Trial,” Benno Brinkhaus, MD, and coauthors from Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Universität Freiburg, Germany, and University Hospital Zurich and University of Zurich, Switzerland, undertook the study as part of a governmental assessment of the practice.
Patients in the active arm received on average 15 acupuncture sessions during the first 3 months of the trial and no acupuncture between months three and six. As a pragmatic trial, reflecting real world conditions, a majority (70%) only received 5-10 visits.
“This pragmatic, multi-center trial – engaged to inform policy-makers – leaves the dual message of multiple patient-centered benefits while at the same time requiring what was typically a surprisingly low number of treatments,” states JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks, johnweeks-integrator.com, Seattle, WA.
“Given the challenges presented to individuals dealing with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, one might postulate that had the outcomes included productivity markers, the benefits from the protocol would have been even more positive for the intervention.”