Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of ginger-indirect moxibustion for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Methods: In this central randomized, controlled trial, 290 chronic fatigue syndrome participants were recruited and randomly allocated to group A (ginger-indirect moxibustion plus acupuncture) or group B (acupuncture alone). The study consisted of a treatment period of 8 weeks with a total of 24 treatments (3 sessions per week, every other day), and a follow-up period of 12 weeks. The outcome was measured by Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Psychological Health Report (SPHERE), the Self-rating depression scale (SDS) and the Hamilton anxiety scale (HAMA) at baseline, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 20 weeks.
Results: With the treatment undergoing, the changes of FSS, SPHERE, SDS and HAMA scores in both groups increased gradually, and the effect maintained at the 12th week. Between groups, significantly higher score changes were seen in group A in FSS after 4 weeks treatment (11.94 9.12, 95%: 0.94, 4.7) and in SPHERE after 2 weeks treatment (3.7 2.27, 95%: 0.56, 2.31). But for SDS and HAMA, the improvement did not differ significantly between groups. No severe adverse events were reported.
Conclusion: Ginger-indirect moxibustion is a safe and effective intervention to relieve fatigue and accompanying physical symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.