Effectiveness of Chinese Hand Massage on Anxiety Among Patients Awaiting Coronary Angiography: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Anxiety is the most common negative emotion among the patients awaiting coronary angiography. The increased anxiety may exacerbate coronary heart disease symptoms and possibly contribute to complications during the procedure. Chinese hand massage is a nonpharmaceutical intervention that has been used in several clinical situations in China and might have beneficial effects on reducing anxiety before coronary angiography.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Chinese hand massage care on anxiety among patients awaiting coronary angiography.


One hundred eighty-five subjects awaiting coronary angiography in a single hospital in Fuzhou, China, between May 2012 and September 2012 were screened. One hundred eligible participants were recruited and randomly assigned into the control or Chinese hand massage group. The control group received the conventional therapies and care according to the guidelines, and those in the Chinese hand massage group received additional Chinese hand massage care in conjunction with the same conventional therapies and care as the control group. The anxiety scores (evaluated by using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale), heart rate, blood pressure, quality of life (Short-Form Health Survey), and the adverse events were recorded at the baseline and after coronary angiography, respectively.


The scores of Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale in the Chinese hand massage group (11.78 [SD, 2.9]) had a statistically significant decrease compared with those in the control group (15.96 [SD, 3.4]) at post-procedure (P < .01). There was no statistically significant difference on blood pressure, heart rate, and Short-Form Health Survey at postangiography between the Chinese hand massage group and the control group. No adverse event was reported during the intervention period.


Chinese hand massage effectively alleviated anxiety without any adverse effects among patients awaiting coronary angiography. Therefore, it might be recommended as a nonpharmacological nursing intervention. However, future study with a larger sample size is needed to further confirm the efficacy of Chinese hand massage intervention.

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