Open-label trial regarding the use of acupuncture and yin tui na in Parkinson's disease outpatients: a pilot study on efficacy, tolerability, and quality of life

J Altern Complement Med. 2006 May;12(4):395-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2006.12.395.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Aged
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome