Acupressure for post-operative nausea and vomiting: A pilot randomised controlled trial



Acupressure for post-operative nausea and vomiting: A pilot randomised controlled trial


Journal Publication







Research Type




Despite optimal pharmacological interventions, post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is prevalent in patients following surgery. Vomiting is ranked the most undesirable outcome experienced by patients post-operatively. Acupressure has been recommended for the prevention of PONV but evidence to date is limited in the cardiac surgical population. This study aims to assess the feasibility and the efficacy of pericardium channel (PC) 6 acupoint stimulation versus placebo on PONV in cardiac surgical patients. This two-group, randomised, controlled, pilot trial was conducted at a tertiary referral intensive care unit in Brisbane. Twenty-nine patients were randomly assigned to receive the acupressure (bead) or placebo (non-bead) wristband. Wristbands were applied to both wrists post-operatively in the ICU and were removed at 36 h. Incidence of PONV, and need for rescue antiemetics were assessed up to 36 h. A Quality of Recovery (QoR) survey was conducted at day four. Thirteen patients were randomised to the acupressure group (8 males), and 16 patients to the placebo group (13 male). The mean Apfel risk score (predictor of PONV 0 = low risk and 4 = high risk) was two in both groups. The mean anaesthesia and cardiopulmonary bypass times were longer in the acupressure group (287.50min, 102.50min) than the placebo group (255.71 min, 78.86min). Although patient reports of nausea were similar between groups (46%, 50%), only 15% of patients vomited in the acupressure group as opposed to 53% in the placebo group. The use of rescue antiemetic therapy did not differ between groups (75%, 73%). The mean QoR score at day four was the same between groups (74.50,74.31). These interim results indicate that PC 6 acupoint stimulation is associated with less vomiting up to 36 h post cardiac surgery. A larger sample is required to determine the feasibility of conducting a multi-centre study.




Accession Number: 107786894. Language: English. Entry Date: 20150603. Revision Date: 20150712. Publication Type: Journal Article; abstract; research; randomized controlled trial. Journal Subset: Australia & New Zealand; Core Nursing; Double Blind Peer Reviewed; Editorial Board Reviewed; Expert Peer Reviewed; Nursing; Peer Reviewed. Special Interest: Critical Care. NLM UID: 9207852.

View on Pubmed

Item sets