Acupressure in Management of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting in High-Risk Ambulatory Surgical Patients

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The purpose of this randomized blinded placebo-controlled research study was to investigate the effect of acupressure over 24 hours postoperatively for ambulatory surgical patients who are identified as high risk for PONV.


A randomized blinded placebo-controlled study design was implemented.


Study enrollment criteria included four of five risk factors as defined in 2006 by American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses PONV/postdischarge nausea and vomiting guidelines: female, PONV history or motion sickness, nonsmoker, and volatile gas general anesthetic. One hundred ten patients were randomly assigned to an intervention (N = 57) acupressure bead patch or control (N = 53) sham acupressure patch group. Patients rated PONV on scale (0 to 10).


Acupressure use at P6 preoperatively was statistically significant in reducing PONV in all three postoperative phases. One hundred ten patients were enrolled; 93 patients finished the study's three phases and nine were admitted postoperatively.


Acupressure is an effective minimal risk and low-cost adjunctive therapy for prevention and treatment in ambulatory surgical patients at high risk for PONV. Further studies using other acupressure points should be conducted.

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