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Anaesthesia. 2005 Oct;60(10):978-81.

Acupressure for prevention of pre-operative anxiety: a prospective, randomised, placebo controlled study.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow 226 014, India.


Pre-operative anxiety is associated with many unwanted effects such as increased analgesic and anaesthetic requirement, postoperative pain and prolonged hospital stay. In the present study, we investigated the effects of acupressure on pre-operative anxiety and bispectral index (BIS) values. Seventy-six adults, ASA grade I and II, undergoing elective surgery, were randomly assigned to two equal groups. Group 1 (control) received acupressure at an inappropriate site and group 2 (acupressure) received acupressure at extra 1 point. The study was conducted during the pre-operative period and the duration of the study was 40 min (acupressure was applied for 10 min and thereafter patients were observed for another 30 min). Anxiety was recorded on a visual stress scale (VSS) at the start of the study and thereafter at 10 and 40 min. BIS was recorded at 0, 2, 5, 10, 12, 15, 30 and 40 min. The VSS decreased in both groups following pressure application for 10 min: median VSS (interquartile range) were 5 (1) vs. 8 (1) in the acupressure and 7 (0) vs. 8 (1) in the control groups (p < 0.001). Both pre-operative anxiety and BIS decreased significantly during acupressure application at extra 1 point (p < 0.001). Acupressure is effective in decreasing both pre-operative anxiety and BIS; however, these effects are not sustained 30 min following release of acupressure. Further studies are needed to elucidate the duration for which acupressure is effective.

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