Objectives: This study evaluates the effects of sequential tui na massage, acupuncture, and instrument-delivered qigong for patients with Parkinson disease (PD) over a 6-month period.
Design: Patients received weekly treatments, which included tui na massage prior to acupuncture followed by instrument-delivered qigong. Each patient was assessed at baseline and at 6 months.
Setting: The setting was an outpatient research/academic clinic for patients with PD and nonacademic acupuncture clinic.
Subjects: Twenty-five (25) patients with idiopathic PD were the subjects.
Outcome measures: Before and after treatment patients were evaluated with the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hoehn and Yahr Staging (H&Y), Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living (S & E), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) quality of life assessment, and patient global assessments.
Results: There were no significant improvements in treatment measures; however, there was a 2.4-point worsening in UPDRS motor scores (24.0 versus 26.4, p = 0.018). There was a 16% improvement in the PDQ- 39 total score (23.2 versus 19.6, p = 0.044) and a 29% improvement in the BDI (9.6 versus 6.8, p = 0.006). Sixteen (16) patients reported moderate to marked improvement. There were no adverse effects.
Conclusions: Acupuncture is safe and well tolerated in patients with PD. Most patients reported subjective improvement. The BDI and PDQ-39 total score, measuring depression and quality of life, demonstrated some improvement, but UPDRS motor scores worsened.