Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) collaborative care for patients with axial spondyloarthritis (AcuSpA): protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial.
BACKGROUND: Axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA) is a chronic disease which results in fatigue, pain, and reduced quality of life (QoL). Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), especially acupuncture, has shown promise in managing pain. Although a TCM collaborative model of care (TCMCMC) has been studied in cancer, there are no randomized controlled trials investigating TCM in AxSpA. Therefore, we will conduct a pragmatic trial to determine the clinical effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of TCMCMC for patients with AxSpA. We define TCMCMC as standard TCM history taking and physical examination, acupuncture, and TCM non-pharmacological advice and communications with rheumatologists in addition to usual rheumatologic care. The purpose of this paper is to describe the rationale for and methodology of this trial. METHODS/DESIGN: This pragmatic randomized controlled trial will recruit 160 patients who are diagnosed with AxSpA and have inadequate response to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Simple randomization to usual rheumatologic care or the intervention (TCMCMC) with a 1:1 allocation ratio will be used. Ten 30-min acupuncture sessions will be provided to patients assigned to the TCMCMC arm. All participants will continue to receive usual rheumatologic care. The primary endpoint - spinal pain - will be evaluated at week 6. Secondary endpoints include clinical, quality of life, and economic outcome measures. Patients will be followed up for up to 52 weeks, and adverse events will be documented. DISCUSSION: This trial may provide evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of a TCMCMC for patients with AxSpA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03420404 . Registered on 14 February 2018.
Kwan, YH; Fong, W; Ang, XL; Tan, CS; Tai, BC; Huang, Y; Bilger, M; Phang, JK; Tan, HC; Lee, JV; Sun, L; Tan, CT; Dong, BQ; Koh, HL; Leung, YY; Lui, NL; Yeo, SI; Ng, SC; Fong, KY; Thumboo, J; Østbye, T
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