Acupuncture at local and distant points for tinnitus: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background: Tinnitus is the perception of a sound in the absence of an objective physical source. Up to now, there is no generally accepted view how these phantom sounds come about, and also no efficient treatment. Patients are turning to complementary or alternative medical therapies, such as acupuncture. Based on the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, acupoints located on both the adjacent and distal area of the disease can be needled to treat disease. Furthermore, the way of combining acupoints is for strengthening the curative effect. We aim to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture at local points in combination with distal points in subjective tinnitus patients.Method: This trial is a randomized, single-blind, controlled study. A total of 112 participants will be randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups receiving acupuncture treatment for 4 weeks. The primary outcome measure is subjective tinnitus loudness and annoyance perception, which is graded using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). The assessment is at baseline (before treatment initiation), 4 weeks after the first acupuncture session, and 8 weeks after the first acupuncture session.Discussion: Completion of this trial will help to identify whether acupuncture at local acupoints in combination with distal acupoints may be more effective than needling points separately.Trial registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Register: ISRCTN29230777. © 2012 Shi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Shi, G. X., Han, L. L., Liu, L. Y., Li, Q. Q., Liu, C. Z., & Wang, L. P. (2012). Acupuncture at local and distant points for tinnitus: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/1745-6215-13-224

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