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Acupuncture and the Relaxation Response for Substance Abuse

The recruitment status of this study is unknown because the information has not been verified recently.
Verified September 2007 by VA Boston Healthcare System.
Recruitment status was  Active, not recruiting
Samueli Institute for Information Biology
Information provided by:
VA Boston Healthcare System Identifier:
First received: September 11, 2006
Last updated: September 14, 2007
Last verified: September 2007

This one-year pilot study has two specific aims: 1. to determine the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled trial of acupuncture and the relaxation response for substance abuse among homeless veterans who are in a domiciliary care program, and 2. to collect and analyze pilot data to estimate the effect size for planning a future larger study to fully test the hypothesis of the effectiveness of acupuncture and the RR in reducing cravings for substances (alcohol and drugs), and the corollary effects on quality of life.

Condition Intervention Phase
Substance Abuse
Procedure: Acupuncture
Behavioral: Relaxation Response
Phase 2
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Acupuncture and the Relaxation Response for Homeless Veterans With Substance Abuse

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by VA Boston Healthcare System:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • self-reported substance craving rating

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • anxiety, physical, mental and spiritual quality of life measures, and irregular discharges.

Study Start Date: November 2006
Detailed Description:

Substance abuse is one of the most important risk factors for homelessness. A high proportion of the US homeless population are veterans, in large part due to the high prevalence of substance abuse among veterans. Thus, effective substance abuse treatment in veterans is essential to preventing homelessness, as well as reintegrating those already homeless. Traditional substance abuse therapies have shown inconsistent effectiveness, suggesting a need for alternative therapies. Acupuncture and the relaxation response (RR) are two commonly used complementary and alternative medicine modalities that have shown benefit in some studies. However, they have not been studied in homeless veterans who have completed detoxification treatment and are in early remission. Acupuncture and the RR share common features, yet have distinct differences. Acupuncture has to be administered by acupuncturists, while RR elicitation is a self-care strategy that can be learned and practiced anytime and anywhere. We propose a pilot study to determine the feasibility of conducting a three-arm randomized controlled trial on veterans in the Bedford Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans program and to collect pilot data for planning future larger studies to test the effectiveness of acupuncture and the RR in reducing substance craving and improving anxiety and quality of life.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Have a substance abuse or dependence problem of any type of substance
  2. Stay in the domiciliary for at least 10 weeks after the study entry to complete the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Schizophrenia or psychotic diagnoses
  2. Bleeding disorders (hemophilia or thrombocytopenia)
  3. An allergy to metals (needles).
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00375102

United States, Massachusetts
Bedford VAMC
Bedford, Massachusetts, United States, 01730
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Boston Healthcare System
Samueli Institute for Information Biology
Principal Investigator: Bei-Hung Chang, Sc.D. VA Boston Health Care System
  More Information

No publications provided Identifier: NCT00375102     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1 EA-0000041
Study First Received: September 11, 2006
Last Updated: September 14, 2007
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by VA Boston Healthcare System:
relaxation response
randomized trials

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on November 24, 2014