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Prophylactic acupuncture treatment during chemotherapy with breast cancer: a randomized pragmatic trial with a retrospective nested qualitative study


Brinkhaus, Benno; Kirschbaum, Barbara; Stöckigt, Barbara; Binting, Sylvia; Roll, Stephanie; Carstensen, Martin; Witt, Claudia M (2019). Prophylactic acupuncture treatment during chemotherapy with breast cancer: a randomized pragmatic trial with a retrospective nested qualitative study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 178(3):617-628.

Abstract

Purpose
This study investigated the effect of additional prophylactic acupuncture during chemotherapy on quality of life and side effects compared to standard treatment alone in breast cancer patients.
Methods
In a pragmatic trial, newly diagnosed breast cancer patients were randomized to additional acupuncture treatments over 6 months or standard care alone (control group). The primary outcome was the disease-specific quality of life (FACT-B). Twenty qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten patients from each group regarding their subjective experiences.
Results
A total of 150 women (mean age 51.0 (SD 10.0) years) were randomized. For the primary endpoint, FACT-B total score after 6 months, no statistically significant difference was found between groups (acupuncture: 103.5 (95%, CI 88.8 to 107.2); control (101.4 (− 97.5 to 105.4); difference 2.0 (− 3.4 to 7.5) p = 0.458)). Qualitative content analyses showed that patients in the acupuncture group described positive effects on psychological and physical well-being. For both patient groups, coping strategies were more important than reducing side effects.
Conclusions
Breast cancer patients receiving prophylactic acupuncture during chemotherapy did not show better quality of life in the questionnaires in contrast to the reported positive effects in the qualitative interviews. Coping strategies for cancer appear to be important.

Abstract

Purpose
This study investigated the effect of additional prophylactic acupuncture during chemotherapy on quality of life and side effects compared to standard treatment alone in breast cancer patients.
Methods
In a pragmatic trial, newly diagnosed breast cancer patients were randomized to additional acupuncture treatments over 6 months or standard care alone (control group). The primary outcome was the disease-specific quality of life (FACT-B). Twenty qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten patients from each group regarding their subjective experiences.
Results
A total of 150 women (mean age 51.0 (SD 10.0) years) were randomized. For the primary endpoint, FACT-B total score after 6 months, no statistically significant difference was found between groups (acupuncture: 103.5 (95%, CI 88.8 to 107.2); control (101.4 (− 97.5 to 105.4); difference 2.0 (− 3.4 to 7.5) p = 0.458)). Qualitative content analyses showed that patients in the acupuncture group described positive effects on psychological and physical well-being. For both patient groups, coping strategies were more important than reducing side effects.
Conclusions
Breast cancer patients receiving prophylactic acupuncture during chemotherapy did not show better quality of life in the questionnaires in contrast to the reported positive effects in the qualitative interviews. Coping strategies for cancer appear to be important.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Complementary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cancer Research, Oncology
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:22 Oct 2019 15:01
Last Modified:29 Oct 2019 02:05
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0167-6806
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-019-05431-5
PubMed ID:31520284

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