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Self-administered acupressure for allergic rhinitis: study protocol for a randomized, single-blind, non-specific controlled, parallel trial

  • Liang, Yaqun1
  • Lenon, George Binh1
  • Yang, Angela Wei Hong1
  • 1 RMIT University, Discipline of Chinese Medicine, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Bundoora, VIC, 3083, Australia , Bundoora (Australia)
Published Article
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jun 25, 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-019-3495-0
Springer Nature


BackgroundAllergic rhinitis (AR) is an IgE-mediated inflammatory disease. Current conventional therapies for AR are unsatisfactory. Acupuncture has been recommended as an optional treatment for AR patients who are interested in non-pharmacotherapy in the new clinical practice guidelines for AR. Acupressure is a sub-type of acupuncture which is non-invasive with a low risk and can be self-administered. However, the current limited evidence is compromised by the high risk of bias and heterogeneity of methodology. Therefore, rigorously designed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are needed. This proposed RCT aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of self-administered acupressure for the management of AR.Methods/designWe have designed a randomized, single-blind, non-specific controlled, two-arm, parallel clinical trial involving a 2-week run-in period, a 4-week intervention period and an 8-week follow-up period. The eligible participants will be randomized into either a specific or a non-specific acupressure group. They will be required to perform self-administered acupressure on either five specific acupressure points or five non-specific acupressure points, 1 min for each point, twice a day for 4 weeks. Participants will be asked to complete self-administered questionnaires for outcome measures including a 7-point scale of symptom severity, the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire with Standardized Activities (RQLQs), relief medication scores, adverse events and participants’ opinion of this study at the different assessment points throughout the trial period. Data will be analyzed by the chi-square or t test using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software.DiscussionThe findings from this study should provide scientific evidence for the efficacy and safety of self-administered acupressure for the management of AR. This study may assist the development of a non-cost, non-invasive self-management method for AR sufferers.Trial registrationAustralian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), ID: ACTRN12617001106325 Registered on 28 July 2017.

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