Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/82103
Title: A prospective randomized controlled study of auricular point acupressure to manage chronic low back pain in older adults : study protocol
Authors: Yeh, CH
Li, C
Glick, R
Schlenk, EA
Albers, K
Suen, LKP 
Lukkahatai, N
Salen, N
Pandiri, S
Ma, W
Perrin, N
Morone, NE
Christo, PJ
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Trials, 2020, v. 21, no. 1, 99
Abstract: Background: Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is a major health problem and the most common pain condition among those aged 60 years or older in the US. Despite the development of pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions, cLBP outcomes have not improved and disability rates continue to rise. This study aims to test auricular point acupressure (APA) as a non-invasive, nonpharmacological self-management strategy to manage cLBP and to address current shortcomings of cLBP treatment.
Methods/design: For this prospective randomized controlled study, participants will be randomly assigned to three groups: (1) APA group (active points related to cLBP), (2) Comparison group-1 (non-active points, unrelated to cLBP), and (3) Comparison group-2 (enhanced educational control, an educational booklet on cLBP will be given and the treatment used by participants for their cLBP will be recorded). The ecological momentary assessment smartphone app will be used to collect real-time cLBP outcomes and adherence to APA practice. Treatment and nonspecific psychological placebo effects will be measured via questionnaires for all participants. This proposed trial will evaluate the APA sustained effects for cLBP at 12-month follow-up. Monthly telephone follow-up will be used to collect study outcomes. Blood will be collected during study visits at baseline, post APA treatment, and follow-up study visits at 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post completion of treatment for a total of seven assessments. Appointments will start between 9 and 11 am to control for circadian variation in cytokine levels.
Discussion: This study is expected to provide vital information on the efficacy, sustainability, and underlying mechanism of APA on cLBP necessary for APA to gain acceptance from both healthcare providers and patients, which would provide a strong impetus for including APA as part of cLBP management in clinical and home settings.
Keywords: Auricular point acupressure
Chronic low back pain
Cytokines
Older adults
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal: Trials 
EISSN: 1745-6215
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-019-4016-x
Rights: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
The following publication Yeh, C.H., Li, C., Glick, R. et al. A prospective randomized controlled study of auricular point acupressure to manage chronic low back pain in older adults: study protocol. Trials 21, 99 (2020), is available at https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-4016-x
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