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Kramer, Sybille; Irnich, Dominik; Lorenzl, Stefan (2017): Acupuncture for Symptom Relief in Palliative Care-Study Protocol and Semistandardized Treatment Schemes. In: Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, Vol. 10, No. 4: pp. 294-302
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Abstract

The use of complementary and alternative medicine methods such as acupuncture in palliative care has increased over the past years. Well-planned trials are warranted to show its effectiveness in relieving distressing symptoms. The development of treatment schemes to be used in the trial for both acupuncture and medical symptom control is challenging, as both acupuncture and palliative care are highly individualized. Thus, standardized care plans of a randomized controlled trial will have difficulties in producing treatment results that compare to the clinical practice. As an alternative, treatment protocols for both acupuncture and medical symptom control of dyspnea, pruritus, hypersalivation, depression, anxiety, and xerostomia were designed with the input of experts. They are designed to provide sufficient symptom control and comparability for a three-arm, randomized controlled trial. Medical symptom control will be provided to all groups. The two control groups will be medical treatment and sham-laser acupuncture.