222459 Combination of acupuncture and relaxation response for treating GI side effects associated with antiretroviral therapies

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Bei-Hung Chang , Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Elizabeth Sommers, MPH, LicAc, PhD (candidate) , Research Dept., Pathways to Wellness/ AIDS Care Project, Boston, MA
Helene Hardy , Center for HIV/AIDS Care & Research, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Objectives: We examined the dose response of the combination of acupuncture and the relaxation response (RR) for treating gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and bowel upsets related to use of antiretroviral therapies (ART). Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial on HIV/AIDS patients who were on ART and had GI symptoms. Enrolled patients listened to CDs while receiving acupuncture treatment. We used a 2x2 design with 2 types of acupuncture point stimulation (true acupuncture point stimulation vs. sham) and 2 types of self-care CDs (RR vs. health education). Treatments were provided twice weekly for 4 weeks and once weekly for another 4 weeks. Participants used daily diaries to record GI symptom severity ratings (0-10). Results: We enrolled 130 subjects and randomized them into 4 study groups, 32 in acupuncture+RR (AR), 33 in acupuncture+health education, 31 in sham acupuncture+RR, and 34 in sham acupuncture+health education. Most of the GI symptoms improved as numbers of treatment increased (dose response effect) for all 4 groups. The AR groups had greater dose response effects (adjusting for baseline ratings) for diarrhea/loose stool symptoms (regression slope=-0.14, p=0.01) compared to the other three groups, which did not show significant differences among them. The AR group also showed borderline significantly greater dose response effect on nausea symptom than the other 3 groups combined (regression slope=-0.12, p=0.10). Conclusion: Our small trial provided promising pilot data demonstrating the potential positive effect of combining acupuncture and RR for treating two of the most common GI side effects associated with ART.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to 1. Describe the dose response relationship of the combination of the acupuncture treatment and the relaxation response for treating GI symptoms among HIV/AIDS patients. 2. Articulate the study design for evaluating the effects of combining acupuncture and the relaxation response.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI of the project that the results presented in the abstract is based on.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.