In a randomised, controlled trial, researchers based in Manchester have assessed the effectiveness of acupuncture for cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients. They conclude it is an effective intervention for both managing fatigue, and improving patients’ quality of life.
A total of 302 outpatients were enrolled in the trial; 75 were randomly assigned to receive usual care, whilst 227 were assigned to receive acupuncture plus usual care. The acupuncture treatments were given once a week for six weeks. The usual care group received a booklet about fatigue and its management. Compared with the usual care group, the acupuncture group experienced significant improvements in physical fatigue, mental fatigue, anxiety, depression, and quality of life, the latter including emotional and functional well-being.
(Acupuncture for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients With Breast Cancer: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, epub ahead of print, 29 October 2012.)