The overall goal of the proposed study is to conduct the first adequately powered prospective randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT) to determine whether combined auricular acupuncture and iRest(R) Yoga Nidra will lead to improved health-related functioning, reduced sleep disturbance and perceived stress in Gulf War-deployed Veterans with Gulf War Veterans'illnesses (GWVIs) compared to Gulf War Health Education. Using a multi-method approach, our interdisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers will test the primary hypothesis that, in Gulf War-deployed Veterans who reported at least 2 of 3 symptom types (fatigue, pain and mood/cognitive) for more than 6 months and at the time of screening, the complementary and alternative CAM treatment (combined auricular acupuncture and iRest(R) Yoga Nidra) will lead to greater improvements in physical health functioning, reductions in pain, fatigue, cognitive deficits and sleep disturbance than Gulf War Health Education. This study will also enhance our understanding of the real-world effects of CAM for these Veterans through the collection and analysis of in-depth interviews from Veterans. If successful, the results of this study would provide a scientific basis to expand the complementary treatments available to the significant number of Gulf War-deployed Veterans who suffer from GWVIs and for whom current medical treatments alone are not adequate. While the present study is targeted at the Gulf War cohort, results could also have significant impact on treatment for Veterans from all other eras as well.

Public Health Relevance

Now 20 years after Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (ODSS), the chronic multi-symptom health problems continue to be well documented for Gulf War Veterans. Meditation and acupuncture treat the entire person and not just one symptom in isolation and thus may be well suited for Gulf War Veterans'illnesses (GWVIs). If successful, the results of this study would provide a scientific basis to expand the complementary treatments available to the significant number of Gulf War-deployed Veterans who suffer from GWVIs and for whom current medical treatments alone are not adequate. Positive study results could also have significant impact on treatment for Veterans from all other eras as well.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Non-HHS Research Projects (I01)
Project #
1I01CX000801-01A2
Application #
8660881
Study Section
Special Emphasis - Research on Gulf War Veterans'Illnesses (SPLD)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
U.S. Department/Vets Affairs Medical Center
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Washington
State
DC
Country
United States
Zip Code
20422