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Acupuncture Treatment For Symptom Management In Atopic Dermatitis: A Study Protocol For A Randomized, Participant- And Assessor-Blind, Sham-Controlled Trial

Jung Gun Park, Hi-Joon Park, Younbyoung Chae, Yu-Kang Kim, Hyangsook Lee, Kyuseok Kim

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease with persistent itching, which impairs quality of life (QoL). Although various conventional treatments for AD exist, patients with AD often seek complementary and alternative therapies when conventional therapy has failed to relieve their AD symptoms or has had adverse effects. Acupuncture treatment may relieve AD symptoms, but controlled trials are needed to confirm this. Following our pilot study, which found that acupuncture treatment improves AD symptoms in mild-to-moderate AD patients, we will assess the effect of acupuncture treatment for symptom relief of AD using a trial with a complemented protocol. This is a two-arm, randomized, participant- and assessor-blinded, sham-controlled trial. A total of 36 mild-to-moderate AD patients will be randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive eight sessions twice weekly of either verum acupuncture (VA) or nonpenetrating sham acupuncture (SA) over four weeks. The primary outcome measured will be the change in the total Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) score. Secondary outcomes will be (1) changes in AD symptoms, QoL, dyspepsia symptoms, and electroencephalography (EEG) between baseline and week 4 and (2) changes in AD symptoms and QoL at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, and 8. This study will assess acupuncture treatment for the alleviation of AD symptoms in patients with mild-to-moderate AD. This clinical trial gas been registered in Korean Clinical Trial Registry (registration number: KCT0002796; date of registration: April 13, 2018).