This study explored the effects of acupressure on fatigue of lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Patients and methods
For this experimental study, 57 subjects were randomly assigned to three groups: acupressure with essential oils (n = 17), acupressure only (n = 24), and sham acupressure (n = 16). Acupoints were Hegu (LI4), Zusanli (ST36), and Sanyingjiao (SP6). All subjects received acupressure once every morning for 5 months, with each acupoint pressed for 1 min. Fatigue, functional status, anxiety, depression, and sleep quality were measured before initial chemotherapy (T0), on Day 1 of third chemotherapy (T1), and on Day 1 of sixth chemotherapy (T2). Outcome differences between groups were analyzed at T0, T1, and T2 by general estimating equations.
After controlling for baseline outcome values, age, and adherence to acupressure, subjects who received acupressure with essential oils and acupressure had significantly less fatigue in daily living activities and sleep better quality at T1 than subjects who received sham acupressure. Subjects who received acupressure with essential oils had significantly better sleep quality at T2 than the sham acupressure group. Subjects who received acupressure with or without essential oils had greater odds of better functional status at T1 than the sham group.
It is plausible that acupressure with or without essential oils helps lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy reduce cancer-related fatigue and increase activity level. Further study is wanted to test this hypothesis.