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 selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is acupuncture (including electroacupuncture) beneficial on the quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease?”

Study design: Systematic review of three primary studies published in 2015 and 2016

Data sources: Two randomized control trials and one non-randomized control trial were chosen through PubMed to study the effects of acupuncture (including electroacupuncture) improving the quality of life and activities of daily living in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Outcome(s) measured: The outcomes were measured by using two types of questionnaires: A 39-item Parkinson Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) to measure quality of life or Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale II (UPDRS) to measure activities of daily living

Results: Chen et al. (2015) found that the UPDRS II score increased by 65% in the acupuncture treatment group compared to 15% increase in the control group (p=0.003). Kluger et al. (2016) found that the PDQ-39 score decreased for the acupuncture treatment group (27.4+10.0 to 21.6+12.2, p=0.0002) as did the score for the control group (31.2+14.9 to 24.5+15.0, p=

Conclusions: There is conflicting evidence as to the efficacy of acupuncture and electroacupuncture in the treatment of quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Chen et al. (2015) and Toosizadeh et al. (2015) both showed acupuncture and electroacupuncture provide an improvement in quality of life. Kluger at al. (2016) did not find acupuncture to be more effective compared to sham acupuncture; however, acupuncture and sham treatments both had a significant effect in improving quality of life.