Effect of Acupuncture on Lung Cancer-Related Fatigue: Study Protocol for a Multi-center Randomized Controlled Trial
Fatigue is one of the primary symptoms in lung cancer, with a prevalence of 88.0% in survivors of cancer, and an even higher prevalence post resection surgery. Effective fatigue control after lung cancer surgery is important for patient recovery and quality of life. Some studies have shown that acupuncture might be effective in treating cancer-related fatigue; however, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of suitable sample size are limited. Method/design: This is a multi-center, patient-blinded
... er, patient-blinded RCT. A total of 320 eligible patients will be recruited in four centers and randomly assigned to either the acupuncture group or the sham acupuncture group in a 1:1 ratio. Treatment will be given twice per week for 12 sessions. Treatment will be given at acupoints GV20, GV29, CV12, CV6, CV4, and bilateral LI4, LR3, SP6, ST36. The primary outcome will be assessed using the Chinese version of The Brief Fatigue Inventory. The secondary outcomes will be measured using The European Organization for Research and The Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. The primary outcome will be assessed at all main points (baseline, the 3rd week, the 6th week, and at follow up time points) and the secondary outcomes will be assessed at baseline and the 6th week. Intention-to-treat analysis will be used in this RCT. Discussion: This trial protocol provides an example of the clinical application acupuncture treatment in the management of lung cancer-related fatigue. If the acupuncture treatment protocol confirms that acupuncture is an effective and safe option for lung cancer-related fatigue, it can be adopted as a standardized treatment.