A German study has assessed the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for hayfever and allergic rhinitis, the former being the most common type of allergic rhinitis. A total of 981 patients were randomly allocated to one of two groups: one received usual care alone, whilst the second received usual care plus ten sessions of acupuncture.
Quality of life, and direct and indirect costs, were all assessed at baseline and again after three months. The study concluded that acupuncture in addition to routine care was both beneficial and cost-effective.
(Cost-effectiveness of Acupuncture in Women and Men with Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomised Controlled Study in Usual Care. American Journal of Epidemiology, 1 March 2009.)
A large German randomised controlled trial has examined the effectiveness of acupuncture plus routine care, compared to routine care alone, for patients with allergic rhinitis. Over 5200 patients, mean age 40 years, were randomly allocated to receive either 15 acupuncture treatments over three months, or to receive no acupuncture. All were allowed to receive standard medical care. Treatment effectiveness was assessed at the start of the trial, and again at three and six months. Using the criteria of rhinitis symptoms and general quality of life, the researchers conclude that acupuncture for allergic rhinitis in addition to routine care, gives clinically relevant and persistent benefits.
(Acupuncture in patients with allergic rhinitis: a pragmatic randomized trial. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, November 2008.)
An Australian study looking at acupuncture for allergic rhinitis has found that it significantly reduces the symptoms of persistent disease. Eighty patients aged 16 to 70 years, were randomly assigned to receive either real acupuncture, or a sham procedure which they were lead to believe was acupuncture. They were treated twice weekly for eight weeks, and then followed up for a further twelve weeks. Measuring factors such as sneezing, nasal itch, nasal obstruction and use of medication, the patients receiving real acupuncture, were significantly better after eight weeks. These benefits persisted at the end of the three month follow-up period.
(Acupuncture for Persistent Allergic Rhinitis: a randomised sham-controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 17 September 2007.)