Research: MAA and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 150


MAA and colleagues, School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan,, have piloted the use of acupressure in the management of chronic dilatation of the bronchi (bronchiectasis).


In an attempt to offer comfort, pain control and symptom management, nursing is becoming increasingly involved in offering complementary-alternative medicine as part of its caring-healing focus in comprehensive patient care. Acupressure is one such modality that is being increasingly used by both medical and nursing professionals. While acupressure has been reported to have beneficial effects in patients with respiratory disease, the benefits to bronchiectasis patients have remained uncertain. The aim of this study was to examine and compare the effects of acupressure on the perceived health-related quality of life of the participants with bronchiectasis.


In a randomized, partially blinded study, 35 outpatients who were suffering from bronchiectasis were randomly split into one of three groups: standard care with supplemental acupressure for 8 weeks (11 participants); standard care with supplemental sham acupressure for 8 weeks (11 participants); and standard care alone (13 participants). Outcomes were determined by changes in daily sputum amounts, sputum self-assessment, six-minute walking distance, breathing difficulty (measured on the dyspnoea visual analogue scale) and health-related quality of life (measured by the Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire).


The sputum self-assessment score improved over time for the sham acupressure participants (p = 0.03), when compared with the controls. For acupressure participants, the Saint George respiratory questionnaire activity component scores also improved over time, compared with controls (p = 0.01) after adjustment for covariates (treatment, time, age, sex and baseline values). Other variables did not differ between the standard care alone group and the other two groups.


8 weeks of self-administered acupressure could be useful in reducing the effects of bronchiectasis on a patient’s daily activities. Acupressure may be regarded as a viable nursing intervention.


Maa SH, Tsou TS, Wang KY, Wang CH, Lin HC, Huang YH. Self-administered acupressure reduces the symptoms that limit daily activities in bronchiectasis patients: pilot study findings. Journal of Clinical Nursing 16 (4): 794-804, Apr 2007.

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