Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this evidence based medicine review is to determine whether or not acupuncture is effective in treating persistent allergic rhinitis in children and adults. Study design: Review of three published, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in 2004, 2007, and 2013. All English language. Data Source: The three randomized controlled trials that used in this review were found using PubMed. Outcome measured: Symptoms of nasal obstruction, rhinorrhea, sneezing and itching were measured with the Total Nasal Symptom Score (TNSS). Other outcomes measured were: Daily rhinitis scores, relief medication scores symptom free days and relief quality of life questionnaire scores (RQLQ). Results: In the study Choi et al, there was a statistically significant difference in TNSS between the active acupuncture group and sham acupuncture group (p=0.03). However, there was no change in rhinitis quality of life score between groups, but a difference between each group and baseline was noted. In the study Xue et al, there was a significant difference noted in the TNSS (p=0.01), however, individuals were still permitted to used symptomatic relief medication throughout the duration of the study. In Ng et al, there was no significant difference in daily rhinitis scores, but there was a significant change in percentage of symptom-free days in the acupuncture group compared to the sham acupuncture group (p<0.0001). Conclusions: Evidence to support the use of acupuncture as a form of treatment for persistent allergic rhinitis at this time is inconclusive.