Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications


Open-Label Trial Regarding the Use of Acupuncture and Yin Tui Na in Parkinson's Disease Outpatients: A Pilot Study on Efficacy, Tolerability, and Quality of Life

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine







First Page


Last Page



PubMed ID



Objectives: This study evaluates the effects of sequential tui na massage, acupuncture, and instrument-delivered qigong for patients with Parkinson disease (PD) over a 6-month period.

Design: Patients received weekly treatments, which included tui na massage prior to acupuncture followed by instrument-delivered qigong. Each patient was assessed at baseline and at 6 months.

Setting: The setting was an outpatient research/academic clinic for patients with PD and nonacademic acupuncture clinic.

Subjects: Twenty-five (25) patients with idiopathic PD were the subjects.

Outcome measures: Before and after treatment patients were evaluated with the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hoehn and Yahr Staging (H&Y), Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living (S & E), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) quality of life assessment, and patient global assessments.

Results: There were no significant improvements in treatment measures; however, there was a 2.4-point worsening in UPDRS motor scores (24.0 versus 26.4, p = 0.018). There was a 16% improvement in the PDQ- 39 total score (23.2 versus 19.6, p = 0.044) and a 29% improvement in the BDI (9.6 versus 6.8, p = 0.006). Sixteen (16) patients reported moderate to marked improvement. There were no adverse effects.

Conclusions: Acupuncture is safe and well tolerated in patients with PD. Most patients reported subjective improvement. The BDI and PDQ-39 total score, measuring depression and quality of life, demonstrated some improvement, but UPDRS motor scores worsened.


Acupuncture, Yin Tui Na, Parkinson's disease, activities of daily living, acupuncture therapy, aged, breathing exercises, middle aged, outpatients, pilot projects, quality of life, questionnaires, severity of illness index, treatment outcome