Acupressure therapeutic care improves fatigue in breast cancer patients on chemotherapy
Therapeutic care (TC) appears to improve anxiety and depression and reduce fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, a new clinical trial has shown.
Investigators randomly divided 48 breast cancer patients into two groups: those who were given TC (intervention group; n=24) and those who were not (control group; n=24). Patients who were pregnant, had psychiatric illnesses or took supplements for fatigue were excluded.
TC was delivered as acupressure at select pressure points. Sessions lasted 30 minutes per day and delivered three days a week, with each point receiving 10 minutes of pressure time. The entire regimen lasted 12 weeks.
General fatigue was significantly alleviated in the patients who received TC compared to those who received sham at both 6 (mean difference [MD], -2.0; 95 percent CI, -2.8 to -1.7; p<0.01) and 12 (MD, -3.1; -3.9 to -2.3; p<0.01) weeks of intervention.
There were no significant differences in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HADS) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores between the intervention and control groups at week 6.
In contrast, HADS-anxiety (MD, -1.5; -2.1 to -0.9; p<0.01), HADS-depression (MD, -1.8; -2.6 to -1.2; p<0.01) and PSQI (MD, -1.6; -2.2 to -1.0; p<0.01) scores were significantly better in the intervention group at 12 weeks.
Physical and mental fatigue were also significantly reduced in the intervention group than in the control group at 6 (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively) and 12 (p<0.01 for both) weeks.