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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010 May;16(2):81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2009.07.003. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

The effect of acupressure on quality of sleep in Iranian elderly nursing home residents.

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Department of Nursing, USWR, Iran.



Sleep disturbances are very common in elderly people and Traditional Chinese acupressure a noninvasive technique that promotes health and comfort recently has been used in this regard. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of acupressure on a group of institutionalized elders experiencing sleep disturbances.


A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted to test the effectiveness of acupressure on quality of sleep of elderly residing in a Nursing home. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality index (PSQI) questionnaire was used as a screening tool to select 90 residents with moderate to marked sleep disturbances. The elders were randomly assigned to an acupressure group, a sham acupressure group and a control group by Balanced randomization method.


There were significant differences between the acupressure group and the control group in subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency and sleep disturbance. But no significant differences were found in sleep indices between the sham acupressure group and the control group. Sleep log data showed a significant decrease in nocturnal awakenings in acupressure group compared to other two groups.


The findings of this study indicated that acupressure has an effect on improvement of sleep quality and endorsed it as a non-pharmacological and complementary therapy for sleep-disturbed elderly people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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