Overactive bladder (OAB) is defined as “urgency, with or without urge incontinence, usually with frequency and nocturia”. Acupuncture is one of the most popular alternative treatment methods for OAB. Little established evidence is available to support the effectiveness of acupuncture for OAB. This study is a pioneer randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled trial to assess the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture in the elderly population with overactive bladder in Hong Kong.
This is a randomized, double-center, patient and outcome assessor blinded, sham-controlled trial. The study sample size is 100 patients. Eligible subjects aged between 60 to 90 years old will be recruited into this study. All subjects will be randomly allocated into the active acupuncture group or sham acupuncture group in a 1: 1 ratio. Participants who are allocated into the active acupuncture group will receive a standardized 30-min real acupuncture treatment session for a total of 16 sessions on the top of standard routine care, whilst those who are randomized to the sham acupuncture arm will receive sham acupuncture in addition to standard routine care. Non-penetrating needles will be utilized as sham acupuncture. The primary outcome measure is the 7-day voiding diary and the secondary outcome measures are urine nerve growth factor (NGF) level, the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire (IIQ-7), Urogenital Distress Inventory (UDI-6) and OAB Symptom Score (OABSS). All outcome measures will be collected at baseline, the end of treatment and 3 months after treatment completion.
The objectives of this study include (1) to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture treatment in patients with OAB on reduction in the frequency of incontinence episodes as derived from a 7-day voiding diary, (2) to evaluate whether acupuncture treatment could improve subjective symptoms in patients with OAB and (3) to examine the feasibility of using NGF as a biomarker for overactive bladder and test correlation with the effectiveness of acupuncture intervention. The finding of this study will provide preliminary evidence on the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for treatment of OAB.
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, ChiCTR-INR-16010048. Registered on 29 Nov 2016.
- Acupuncture; Elderly; Nerve growth factor; Overactive bladder; Sham controlled