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Acupressure for Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

JAMA Oncol; ePub 2016 Jul 7; Zick, Sen, et al

Both relaxing acupressure and stimulating acupressure significantly reduced persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors when compared with usual care; however, only relaxing acupressure had significant effects on sleep quality and quality of life. This according to a phase 3 randomized, single-blind, clinical trial conducted from March 1, 2011, through October 31, 2014, in a total of 424 women breast survivors of stages 0 to III breast cancer who had completed cancer treatments at least 12 months previously. Participants were screened, and 288 were randomized, with 270 receiving relaxing acupressure (n=94), stimulating acupressure (n=90), or usual care (n=86). Researchers found:

• At week 6, the percentages of participants who achieved normal fatigue levels were 66.2% in relaxing acupressure, 60.9% in stimulating acupressure, and 31.3% in usual care.

• At week 10, a total of 56.3% in relaxing acupressure, 60.9% in stimulating acupressure, and 30.1% in usual care continued to have normal fatigue.

• Relaxing acupressure, but not stimulating acupressure, showed significant improvements in sleep quality compared with usual care at week 6, but not at week 10.

• Only relaxing acupressure significantly improved quality of life vs usual care at weeks 6 and 10.

Citation: Zick SM, Sen A, Wyatt GK, Murphy SL, Arnedt JT, Harris RE. Investigation of 2 types of self-administered acupressure for persistent cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer survivors: A randomized clinical trial. [Published online ahead of print July 7, 2016]. JAMA Oncol. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.1867.