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Acupressure for Nausea: Results of a Pilot Study

Suzanne L. Dibble
Jnani Chapman
Kayee Alice Mack
Ai-Shan Shih
ONF 2000, 27(1), 41-47 DOI: 10.1188/00.ONF.41-47

Purpose/Objectives: To compare differences in nausea experience and intensity in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer between those receiving usual care plus acupressure training and treatment and those receiving only usual care.

Design: Single-cycle, randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Outpatient oncology clinic in a major teaching medical center and a private outpatient oncology practice.

Sample: Seventeen women participated in the study. The typical participant was 49.5 years old (SD = 6.0), Caucasian (59%), not married/partnered (76%), on disability (53%), born a U.S. citizen (76%), and heterosexual (88%); lived alone (59%); had at least graduated from high school (100%); and had an annual personal income of $50,000 or greater (65%).

Methods: The intervention included finger acupressure bilaterally at P6 and ST36, acupressure points located on the forearm and by the knee. Baseline and poststudy questionnaires plus a daily log were used to collect data.

Main Research Variables: Nausea experience measured by the Rhodes inventory of Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching and nausea intensity.

Findings: Significant differences existed between the two groups in regard to nausea experience (p < 0.01) and nausea intensity (p < 0.04) during the first 10 days of the chemotherapy cycle, with the acupressure group reporting less intensity and experience of nausea.

Conclusions: Finger acupressure may decrease nausea among women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Implications for Nursing Practice: This study must be replicated prior to advising patients about the efficacy of acupressure for the treatment of nausea.

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