Self-Acupressure for Older Adults with Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Apr 24. Epub 2017 Apr 24. PMID: 28437570
Lydia W Li
OBJECTIVES: This double-blind RCT aimed to test the efficacy of self-administered acupressure for pain and physical function improvement for older adults with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).
METHODS: Community-living adults with symptomatic KOA (N=150; mean age=73) participated and were randomized to verum acupressure, sham acupressure, or usual care. Verum and sham, but not usual care, participants were taught to self-apply acupressure once daily, five days/week for eight weeks. Assessments were collected during center visits at baseline, four and eight weeks. The numeric rating scale (NRS) for pain was administered during weekly phone calls to check on the participants. Outcomes included the WOMAC pain subscale (primary), the NRS and physical function measures (secondary). Linear mixed regression was conducted to test between group differences in mean changes from baseline for the outcomes at eight weeks.
RESULTS: Compared with usual care, both verum and sham participants experienced significant improvements in WOMAC pain (mean difference: -1.27 units; 95% CI: -1.95 to -.58, and -1.24; 95% CI: -1.92 to -.55, respectively), NRS pain (-.74; 95% CI: -1.24 to -.24, and -.51; 95% CI: -1.01 to -.01, respectively) and WOMAC function (-4.83; 95% CI: -6.99 to -2.67, and -4.21; 95% CI: -6.37 to -2.04, respectively) at 8 weeks. There were no significant differences between verum and sham acupressure groups in any outcomes.
CONCLUSION: Self-administered acupressure is superior to usual care in pain and physical function improvement for older people with KOA. The reason for the benefits is unclear and placebo effects may have played a role. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.