Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of acupuncture on bone/joint pain, headache and fatigue, as well as quality of life in patients with Gaucher disease (GD), within the framework of an integrated treatment programme. Methods: Patients with GD suffering from any of the above symptoms were offered a series of 10-12 weekly acupuncture treatment sessions. Prior to initiation of treatment, participants were asked to score the severity of pain, as well as to complete the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue measure (FACIT-F) and the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Short-Form (SF) questionnaire. These tools were evaluated again at the end of the treatment period. Results: A total of 12 patients were evaluated. While the only pain outcome reduced by acupuncture was knee pain, a significant improvement was observed with respect to nearly all FACIT-Fatigue measures, including the Physical Well Being (PWB) subscales and the SF-12 Physical Composite Score (PCS), though not for the Mental Composite Score (MCS). Patients reported satisfaction with the treatment process, and no significant side effects were reported. Conclusion: Acupuncture may play a beneficial role for patients with GD when used in conjunction with conventional therapy, reducing fatigue and improving physical function. The preliminary finding of this observational study should encourage further research.
- Gaucher disease
- Quality of life