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Keywords:

  • end-stage renal disease;
  • acupoints massage;
  • acupressure;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • quality of life

Background.  Traditional Chinese acupressure is a noninvasive technique that employs pressure and massage to acupoints in order to stimulate the balance of life energy that promotes health and comfort. Sleep disturbance is common in patients with end-stage renal disease but no intervention studies have addressed this problem.

Aim.  The purpose of the present study was to test the effectiveness of acupoints massage for patients with end-stage renal disease and experiencing sleep disturbances and diminished quality of life.

Methods.  The study was a randomized control trial. A total of 98 end-stage renal disease patients with sleep disturbances were randomly assigned into an acupressure group, a sham acupressure group, and a control group. Acupressure and sham acupressure group patients received acupoints or no acupoints massage three times a week during haemodialysis treatment for a total of 4 weeks. The measures included the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Sleep Log, and the Medical Outcome Study – Short Form 36.

Findings.  The results indicated significant differences between the acupressure group and the control group in Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index subscale scores of subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep sufficiency, and global Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores. Sleep log data revealed that the acupressure group significantly decreased wake time and experienced an improved quality of sleep at night over the control group. Medical Outcome Study – Short Form 36 data also documented that acupressure group patients experienced significantly improved quality of life.

Conclusion.  This study supports the effectiveness of acupoints massage in improving the quality of sleep and life quality of end-stage renal disease patients, and offers a noninvasive therapy for sleep-disturbed patients.