Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Trials and BioMed Central.

Open Access Study protocol

Comparison of conventional medicine, TCM treatment, and combination of both conventional medicine and TCM treatment for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: study protocol of a randomized comparative effectiveness research trial

Jian-sheng Li13*, Yang Xie13, Su-yun Li23 and Xue-qing Yu23

Author Affiliations

1 The Geriatric Department, Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Longzihu University Town, Zhengdong New District, Zhengzhou, People's Republic of China

2 Department of Respiratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Renmin Road 19, Zhengzhou, People's Republic of China

3 Collaborative Innovation Center for Respiratory Disease Diagnosis and Treatment & Chinese Medicine Development of Henan Province, Zhengzhou, People's Republic of China

For all author emails, please log on.

Trials 2014, 15:153  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-153

Published: 1 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects millions worldwide. Although many therapies exist and are being developed to relieve symptoms and reduce mortality, few data are available to understand which of the therapeutic alternatives is the most cost-effective for COPD patients in everyday clinical practice, especially for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Comparative effectiveness research can help patients, clinicians, and decision-makers make best informed treatment decisions where such evidence was previously lacking. This study aims to compare the effectiveness and economic evaluation of three treatments: (1) conventional Western medicine; (2) TCM treatments, which have been evaluated and have certain effect; and (3) a combination of both conventional Western medicine and TCM treatments, and then determine which treatment is the most suitable for COPD patients.

Methods/design

A multicenter, pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial is adopted. A total of 360 patients will be recruited and randomly assigned to one of the three treatments group, with 120 in each group. Patients in the conventional Western medicine group will be given Salbutamol, Formoterol, Salmeterol/fluticasone, respectively, according to the guidelines. For the TCM group, patients will be given Bufei granule, Bu-Fei Jian-Pi granule, Bu-Fei Yi-Shen granule, and Yi-Qi Zi-Shen granule based on their corresponding TCM syndrome patterns, respectively. For the combination of conventional medicine and TCM treatments group, patients will be given a combination of conventional Western medicine and TCM granules. Treatments in each group are recognized as a whole comprehensive intervention. After the 26-week treatment, another 26 weeks will be followed up. The outcome measures including the frequency and duration of acute exacerbations, lung function, dyspnea, exercise capacity, quality of life, and economic evaluation will be assessed.

Discussion

It is hypothesized that each of the three treatments will have beneficial effects in reducing the frequency and duration of acute exacerbations, improving exercise capacity and psychosocial function of COPD patients. In addition, the combination of conventional medicine and TCM treatments may be most suitable for COPD patients with better effectiveness and economic evaluation.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01836016.

Keywords:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Comparative effectiveness research; Traditional Chinese medicine