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Pain Manag Nurs. 2019 May 30. pii: S1524-9042(18)30250-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2019.04.005. [Epub ahead of print]

Preliminary Effectiveness of Auricular Point Acupressure on Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy: Part 1 Self-Reported Outcomes.

Author information

1
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic address: cyeh13@jhu.edu.
2
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
4
Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe St, Phipps 455, Baltimore, Maryland.
5
Department of Gynecology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China.
6
Chengdu Medical College School of Nursing, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
7
The Nursing College of Zhengzhou University, No. 100 Science Ave, Zhengzhou, Henan, China.
8
Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
9
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
10
National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To reduce chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (CIN)-a significant challenge among cancer patients following chemotherapy-we explored the effects of auricular point acupressure (APA), which involves needleless, acupuncture-like stimulation on specific ear points.

DESIGN/METHOD:

This pilot study examined the effects of a 4-week APA intervention in the management of CIN. Descriptive analysis was used to examine the changes in study outcomes.

RESULTS:

Fifteen participants were enrolled. Two participants dropped out because they developed new medical conditions. Thirteen participants completed the study (87% retention rate). Study participants had more severe symptoms in their lower extremities (i.e., toes, feet, soles) than in their upper extremities (i.e., fingers, wrists, elbows). After the 4-week APA intervention, the mean percentage change scores ranged from 38% (tingling) to 49% (numbness); compared to pre-intervention, the therapeutic effects of APA were sustained at the 1-month follow-up. Function in both upper and lower extremities improved after the APA intervention (≥28%) and continued to improve at the 1-month follow-up (≥36%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Preliminary results from this small sample provide initial evidence of the effectiveness of APA on CIN. Future studies should confirm these results using a larger sample, a comparative sham control, and an examination of the underlying physiological mechanisms of the anti-CIN effects of APA.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

APA may provide an inexpensive and effective complementary approach for the self-management of CIN. Once the seeds have been taped to the patient's ear by the provider, patients are empowered to self-manage their CIN in their own environment.

PMID:
31155279
DOI:
10.1016/j.pmn.2019.04.005

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