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Alternative Medicine Alleviates Symptoms of Rhinosinusitis

Integrative East-West medicine adjuvant approach improves sinonasal symptoms and quality of life

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- An integrative East-West medicine (IEWM) approach in addition to standard medical treatment improves symptoms and quality of life (QOL) for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), according to a pilot study published in the March issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Jeffrey D. Suh, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a prospective trial involving 11 patients with recalcitrant CRS. Participants completed eight weeks of weekly acupuncture and received counseling on lifestyle changes, dietary modification, and acupressure, in addition to standard medical treatment. Study participants completed the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-20) and the 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) questionnaires at baseline and following study completion; the responses were compared for alteration in sinonasal symptoms and QOL measures.

The researchers identified trends toward improvement in most elements of the SNOT-20, with reductions in "need to blow nose," "runny nose," "reduced ability to concentrate," and "feeling frustrated, restless, or irritable" reaching statistical significance. The role physical, vitality, and social functioning aspects of the SF-36 were significantly improved.

"Preliminary data suggest that an integrated approach of traditional Western medicine with IEWM is safe and may improve symptoms and QOL for patients with recalcitrant CRS," the authors write.

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