Feedback Simulation for Acupressure Training and Skill Assessment

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IntroductionPrevious acupressure studies have yielded varying results. This could be due to differences in the amount of pressure applied to the acupressure point (acupoint) by study personnel within a study as well as between studies. Standardizing the level of pressure applied at an acupoint could improve clinical care and future research.MethodsAs part of an ongoing randomized clinical trial of postoperative acupressure, five trainees were asked to perform 2 minutes of acupressure and light touch sessions on a simulator. The applied weight was recorded every minute. Individual skill assessment was performed using cumulative sum analysis. Six pretraining and 20 posttraining measurements in each acupressure and light touch group were compared with an expert's simulation values.ResultsBefore training (baseline), there was significant difference in applied weight (grams) between the expert [5705 (636)] and five trainees [2998 (798), P = 0.004]. Four of the five trainees crossed the lower decision limit assessing proficiency in the acupressure group, and all five trainees were successful in the light touch group. The trainees' average number of measurements needed to cross the lower decision limit (H0), that is, defining that an individual failure rate does not statistically differ from the acceptable failure rate, was 21.3 measurements for acupressure. After this feedback simulation, trainees' scores showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) when assessed against the expert.ConclusionsFeedback simulation for acupressure training and skill assessment, evaluated by cumulative sum analysis, may help in improving the standardization of acupressure therapy performed during clinical practice or research.

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