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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

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

Guang-Xia Shi, Li-Li Han, Li-Ying Liu, Qian-Qian Li, Cun-Zhi Liu* and Lin-Peng Wang*

Author Affiliations

Acupuncture and Moxibustion Department, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine affiliated to Capital Medical University, 23 Meishuguanhou Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100010, China

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Trials 2012, 13:224  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-224

Published: 23 November 2012

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