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Open Access Study protocol

Efficacy and safety of acupuncture for chronic dizziness: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Zhe Xue12, Cun-Zhi Liu1*, Guang-Xia Shi1, Yan Liu1, Zhao-Xin Li1, Zhen-Hua Zhang1 and Lin-Peng Wang1

Author Affiliations

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

2 Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jingshi Street, Lixia District, Jinan 250014, China

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Trials 2013, 14:429  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-429

Published: 13 December 2013



Dizziness is one of the most challenging symptoms in medicine. No medication for dizziness in current use has well-established curative or prophylactic value or is suitable for long-term palliative use. Unconventional remedies, such as acupuncture, should be considered and scientifically evaluated. However, there has been relatively little evidence in randomized controlled clinical trials on acupuncture to treat chronic dizziness. The aim of our study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in patients with dizziness.


This trial is a randomized, single-blind, controlled study. A total of 80 participants will be randomly assigned to two treatment groups receiving acupuncture and sham acupuncture treatment, respectively, for 4 weeks. The primary outcome measures are the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) and the Vertigo Symptom Scale (VSS). Treatment will be conducted over a period of 4 weeks, at a frequency of two sessions per week. The assessment is at baseline (before treatment initiation), 4 weeks after the first acupuncture session, and 8 weeks after the first acupuncture session.


The results from this study will provide clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in patients with chronic dizziness.

Trial registration

International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Register: ISRCTN52695239

Acupuncture; chronic dizziness; randomized controlled trial