Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 641–645 | Cite as

Acupuncture for symptom management of rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot study

  • Hyangsook Lee
  • Ji-Young Lee
  • Yun-ju Kim
  • Sehyun Kim
  • Changshik Yin
  • Jae-Ho Khil
  • Kirok Kwon
  • Sun-Mi Choi
  • Hyejung Lee
  • Hi-Joon Park
Brief Report

Abstract

We investigated the feasibility of a future acupuncture trial in the symptom management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Twenty-five patients meeting the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria were recruited and given 14 sessions of individualised acupuncture treatment for 6 weeks. Improvement in symptoms was assessed using ACR 20, 50 and 70; disease activity score (DAS28); tender joint count; swollen joint count; morning stiffness and health-related quality of life using the Korean Health Assessment Questionnaire and the SF-36 at baseline and after 6 weeks. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was also assessed. At 6 weeks, 44%, 20%, and 12% of patients achieved ACR 20, 50 and 70 responses, respectively. Acupuncture also produced statistically significant improvements in DAS28, pain and global activity, swollen joint count, health-related quality of life (SF-36) and ESR. No major acupuncture-related adverse events were reported. Acupuncture treatment as used in this pilot study was safe and well-tolerated. The use of acupuncture for symptom management in RA warrants further investigation.

Keywords

ACR 20 Acupuncture Disease activity Rheumatoid arthritis 

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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyangsook Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ji-Young Lee
    • 3
  • Yun-ju Kim
    • 4
  • Sehyun Kim
    • 5
  • Changshik Yin
    • 2
  • Jae-Ho Khil
    • 6
  • Kirok Kwon
    • 1
  • Sun-Mi Choi
    • 7
  • Hyejung Lee
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hi-Joon Park
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Korean MedicineSangji UniversityWonjuKorea
  2. 2.Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research CentreKyung Hee UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of Meridian and Acupuncture, College of Korean MedicineKyung Hee UniversitySeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of International CooperationMinistry of Health and WelfareSeoulKorea
  5. 5.Graduate School of East–West Medical ScienceKyung Hee UniversityYonginKorea
  6. 6.College of Physical EducationKyung Hee UniversityYonginKorea
  7. 7.Department of Medical ResearchKorea Institute of Oriental MedicineDaejeonKorea

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