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Keywords:

  • activities of daily living;
  • acupressure;
  • motor function;
  • stroke

Aim and objective.  To examine the effects of a nurse-led acupressure programme on the recovery of motor function and daily activities of stroke patients.

Background.  Stroke is one of the main causes of death and permanent physical disability in the world. The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is widely used for the treatment and rehabilitation of people with stroke in China. Physiotherapy or occupational therapy cannot be performed several times a day. Therefore, researchers and healthcare providers have been seeking effective and efficient alternative strategies for the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Acupressure, non-invasive and widely accessible to any healthcare professionals, is one of the promising alternatives.

Methods.  Seventy-eight stroke patients were recruited and randomly assigned into an intervention or control group, with 39 patients in each. The intervention group received acupressure plus routine care, while the control group received only routine care only. The acupressure treatment was carried out by nurses. Patient’s activities of daily living (ADL) and motor function from both groups were evaluated at the point of recruitment, and at the end of the first and third month after stroke.

Results.  The ADL and the Fugl-Meyer motor scores in the intervention group were significantly higher than those in the control group at the end of the third month (< 0·05).

Conclusion.  Nurse-led acupressure programme had positive effects on the recovery of motor function and daily activities of stroke patients. Our study suggests that nurse-led acupressure programmes play an important role in the recovery of stroke patients.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Healthcare providers need to think about alternative care methods including acupressure for the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Acupressure is one of the promising alternatives nursing intervention for stroke patients in practice.