Acupressure, Sleep, and Quality of Life in Institutionalized Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Nursing home (NH) residents suffer from sleep disturbances which are associated with a low quality of life (QoL). The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of comparing acupressure on specific acupoints with acupressure on non-specific acupoints in older NH residents with sleep disturbances.

DESIGN

A randomized control trial with a pre- and post-test design.

SETTING

One NH in Taiwan.

PARTICIPANTS

Sixty-two older NH residents were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 31) and a sham-controlled group (n = 31).

INTERVENTION

The experimental group received acupressure on the Tian-Zhu, Ju-Que, Yong-Quan, Bai-Hui, and Nei-Guan acupoints three times a week for 8 weeks, for 24 minutes each time, while the control group received a massage at locations with no acupoints, which were 10 mm from the true points, at the same frequency as the experimental group.

MEASUREMENTS

The primary outcome was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the secondary outcome was measured using the Short-form 36 (SF-36). Data were collected at baseline, the end of treatment, and 4 weeks after completion of treatment.

RESULTS

Compared to the control group, the experimental group had significantly better scores on the PSQI (t = -7.72, P < 0.001) and SF-36 (t = 1.34, P < 0.001) during the intervention period. The improvements in the PSQI and SF-36 scores were still significant (P < 0.001) after adjusting for confounding variables by generalized estimating equations.

CONCLUSIONS

Results suggest that acupressure on the Tian-Zhu, Ju-Que, Yong-Quan, Bai-Hui, and Nei-Guan acupoints can improve the quality of sleep and life among NH residents. Acupressure is a promising intervention that may improve well-being for NH residents with sleep disturbances.

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