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A Randomized Exploratory Study to Evaluate Two Acupuncture Methods for the Treatment of Headaches Associated with Traumatic Brain Injury


Headaches are prevalent among Service members with traumatic brain injury (TBI); 80{44c7f096ae4a0f956ab9167e2bacde9c804851a57290d0086ec17557d44e93e0} report chronic or recurrent headache. Evidence for nonpharmacologic treatments, such as acupuncture, are needed. Objective: The aim of this research was to determine if two types of acupuncture (auricular acupuncture [AA] and traditional Chinese acupuncture [TCA]) were feasible and more effective than usual care (UC) alone for TBI–related headache.

Materials and Methods
This was a three-armed, parallel, randomized exploratory study. Setting: The research took place at three military treatment facilities in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Patients: The subjects were previously deployed Service members (18–69 years old) with mild-to-moderate TBI and headaches. Intervention: The interventions explored were UC alone or with the addition of AA or TCA.

Outcome Measures
The primary outcome was the Headache Impact Test (HIT). Secondary outcomes were the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Post-Traumatic Stress Checklist, Symptom Checklist-90-R, Medical Outcome Study Quality of Life (QoL), Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics, and expectancy of outcome and acupuncture efficacy. Results: Mean HIT scores decreased in the AA and TCA groups but increased slightly in the UC-only group from baselinetoweek6[AA,-10.2{44c7f096ae4a0f956ab9167e2bacde9c804851a57290d0086ec17557d44e93e0}(-6.4points);TCA,-4.6{44c7f096ae4a0f956ab9167e2bacde9c804851a57290d0086ec17557d44e93e0}(-2.9points);UC,+0.8{44c7f096ae4a0f956ab9167e2bacde9c804851a57290d0086ec17557d44e93e0}(+0.6points)].
Bothacupuncture groups had sizable decreases in NRS (Pain Best), compared to UC (TCA versus UC:P=0.0008, d=1.70; AA versus UC: P=0.0127, d=1.6). No statistically significant results were found for any other secondary outcome measures.

Both AA and TCA improved headache-related QoL morethan UCdid in Servic emembers with TBI

Points used:

Two Acupuncture Methods

Authors: Wayne B. Jonas, MD, 1 Dawn M. Bellanti, MSN, CRNP, 1 Charmagne F. Paat, BS, 1 Courtney C. Boyd, MA, 1 Alaine Duncan, MAc, LAc, DiplAc, 2 Ashley Price, BS, 1 Weimin Zhang, PhD, 1 Louis M. French, PhD, 3 and Heechin Chae, MD4

Quelle: MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE Volume 28, Number 3, 2016