Acupressure may lesson chronic shortness of breath and depression in persons with COPD. - GreenMedInfo Summary
The psychologic consequences of chronic dyspnea in chronic pulmonary obstruction disease: the effects of acupressure on depression.
J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Mar;13(2):253-61. PMID: 17388769
OBJECTIVES: The onset of depression is often triggered by breathlessness in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is hypothesized that these are the psychologic consequences of chronic dyspnea. Lessening dyspnea might alleviate depressive symptoms. Acupressure has been shown in other studies to produce relaxation. The aim of this study was to determine if it would lessen dyspnea and reduce depression in patients with COPD. SUBJECTS AND DESIGN: Subjects diagnosed with COPD were chosen from one medical center and three regional hospitals in Taipei, Taiwan. A randomized, block experimental design was used, with subjects and the data collector blinded. Using age, gender, pulmonary function, smoking, and steroid use as matching factors, 44 subjects were randomly assigned to either the true acupressure or the sham acupressure groups. The true acupressure group received a program of acupressure using appropriate acupoints that promote relaxation and relieve dyspnea. The sham acupressure group received acupressure using sham acupoints different from the meridians and ganglionic sections of the true acupressure group. Both acupressure programs lasted 4 weeks, with five sessions per week that lasted 16 minutes per session. OUTCOME MEASURES: The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and Dyspnea Visual Analogue Scale (DVAS) were administered prior to the program as a baseline, and again following the completion of the 4-week program. Oxygen saturation and other physiological indicators were measured before and after each session. RESULTS: The results of this study showed that the GDS scores, DVAS scores, oxygen saturation, and physiological indicators of the true acupressure group were significantly improved, compared to those of the sham acupressure group. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide health professionals with an evidence-based intervention to use with persons with COPD. Applying this acupressure program in clinical practice, communities, and long-term care units may lessen chronic dyspnea and depression in persons with COPD.