Acupressure and massage ease fatigue and depression in people with end-stage renal disease – kidney failure – who are undergoing hemodialysis, a recent study reported.
“The effect of Acupressure with Massage on Fatigue and Depression in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease” was conducted by staff at the National Tainan Institute of Nursing Department of Nursing, in Tainan, Taiwan, and the National Taipei College of Nursing Graduate Institute, in Taipei, Taiwan.
Sixty-two people with end-stage renal disease undergoing hemodialysis participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to either the experimental group, where they received acupressure and massage, or the control group, where they continued to receive standard care.
Subjects in the experimental group received acupressure for 12 minutes per day, followed by a three-minute massage of the legs, three days a week, for four weeks. The acupressure points Zusanli, Sanyinjiao, Taixi and Yungchuan were deemed appropriate for easing fatigue and depression.
These points were pressed and rubbed using the pads of the fingers with a force of about three-to-five kilograms for five seconds, with a one-second release at the end. Each point was stimulated for three minutes. After 12 minutes of acupressure, subjects’ legs were massaged for three minutes.
Researchers used the revised Piper Fatigue Scale to measure fatigue, and the Chinese version of Beck’s Depression Inventory was used to measure depression, at the beginning and end of the four-week study.
The results of the study revealed a significant decrease in perceived fatigue from the start to the finish of the study for subjects in the experimental group, whereas the control group showed no significant difference in perceived fatigue from pretest to post-test.
There was also a significant improvement from pretest to post-test on depression scores for the experimental group. The control group showed no significant difference in depression scores from the beginning to the end of the study.
The study’s authors concluded that acupressure with massage could effectively improve fatigue and depression in people with end-stage renal disease, and that it should be considered when caring for this population.
“Assessment of [end-stage renal disease] patients’ fatigue and depression should be an essential part of nursing practice, and clinicians may consider providing acupressure therapy as a method for improving dialysis patients’ fatigue and depression,” state the study’s authors. “Nurses, patients and their families could be easily trained to administer acupressure to those who have fatigue and depression.
Source: National Tainan Institute of Nursing Department of Nursing, in Tainan, Taiwan, and National Taipei College of Nursing Graduate Institute, in Taipei, Taiwan. Authors: Yi-Ching Cho, R.N., Shiow-Luan Tsay, R.N., Ph.D. Originally published in Journal of Nursing Research, 2004, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp.51-58.