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

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Abstract

Purpose:

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.

Design:

A randomized blinded placebo-controlled study design was implemented.

Methods:

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).

Findings:

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.

Conclusions:

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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