Effects of Auricular Acupressure on Sleep Quality, Anxiety, and Depressed Mood in RN-BSN Students With Sleep Disturbance

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Abstract

Background:

Students in 2-year registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in nursing (RN-BSN) programs usually work full-time and study part-time. Sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression are known to be common health problems among these students.Prior research has described the effectiveness of auricular acupressure (AA) in reducing sleep disturbance and improving mood.

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of using a 4-week AA program that adheres to a magnetic pellet on the shenmen acupoint on sleep quality, anxiousness, and depressed moods in nursing students with sleep disturbance.

Methods:

This study used a one-group, quasi-experimental design with repeated measures. Eligible students were recruited from an RN-BSN program offered by a university in northern Taiwan, and all were currently experiencing sleep disturbance. A 4-week AA intervention that applied a magnetic pellet on the shenmen acupoint was used. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Beck Depression Inventory-II were used to measure sleep quality and mood outcomes each week during the 4-week intervention. Improvements in sleep quality, anxiety, and depressed moods were analyzed using the generalized estimating equation.

Results:

Thirty-six participants with a mean age of 32 years were enrolled as participants. After adjusting for confounding factors, continuous and significant improvements in sleep quality, anxiety, and depressed mood (p < .05) were observed throughout the intervention, with 4-week improvements in sleep quality, anxiety, and depressed mood averaging 26.7%, 43.5%, and 25%, respectively.

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

This study showed the efficacy of using a 4-week AA that applies a magnetic pellet on the shenmen acupoint in terms of improving sleep quality, anxiousness, and depressed mood in RN-BSN students experiencing sleep disturbances. Especially, the emotional mood of participants improved significantly as early as the first week. The 4-week AA for reducing sleep disturbance, and improving students’ anxiety, and depressed moods may be applied on primary healthcare.

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