Acupressure Aids Self-Reported Sleep Disturbances in Patients With Cancer

Systematic review finds acupressure better than acupuncture or electroacupuncture.

HealthDay News Acupressure may be better than acupuncture for reducing sleep disturbance in cancer patients, according to a systematic review and network meta-analysis published online Dec. 21 in Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.

Denise Shuk Ting Cheung, Ph.D., from the University of Hong Kong, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to assess the comparative effectiveness of acupuncture and acupressure on sleep in cancer patients. The reviewed studies covered six interventions (manual acupuncture, electroacupuncture, acupressure, sham, enhanced usual care, and no treatment).

Based on 24 randomized controlled trials (2,002 cancer patients), the researchers found that acupressure demonstrated the largest effect size for reducing self-reported sleep disturbance compared with enhanced supportive care. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture also demonstrated an effect.

“Based on available evidence, acupressure may be a more promising approach than acupuncture for reducing sleep disturbance in patients with cancer,” corresponding author Denise Shuk Ting Cheung, Ph.D., R.N., of the University of Hong Kong, said in a statement. “Future studies should focus on the differential mechanisms of action of acupressure and acupuncture and link them to the multifactorial causes of sleep disturbance in patients with cancer.”

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