The Effects of Acupressure on Fatigue of Lung Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy---A Double-Blind Experimental Study

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Fatigue is a common unpleasant symptom of lung cancer chemotherapeutic patients as 70-96% of them suffer from the problem. However, there is no effective clinical method to deal with the problem. In the past, scholars suggested that patients might take rest, sleep, do exercise and preserve energy to reduce fatigue. However, this may not applicable to lunch cancer patients with breathing difficulties. To find out effective fatigue management, this study aims to explore the effects of acupressure on fatigue of the lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. This three-year long perspective and double-blind experimental study plans to recruit subjects from three medical centers in northern, central and southern Taiwan. Lung cancer patients in line with the subject selection criteria will be randomly assigned to the experimental group (Group A: to accept acupressure with essential oil; Group B: to accept pure acupressure) and the control group (Group C: to accept sham acupressure). To enhance the credibility of the study results, subject and staff responsible for data collection do not know the groups assigned to. After referring to literature and consulting with Traditional Chinese Medicine experts, this study selects Hegu(LI4), Zusanli(ST36), and Sanyingjiao (SP6) as the true acupoints of this study and selects the metacarpal bone, the patella, and inner ankle as the sham acupoints. All subjects in the study will start from the first day of the initial chemotherapy. Subjects will receive every morning for 5 months one time of acupressure on both sides of the body with each acupoint being pressed in rotation for 1 minute. The first acupressure will be implemented by the researcher and will teach in the process to the subject on how to correctly find the acupoints and how to do acupressure. All subjects will be asked to repeat the operations to ensure that they can correctly perform the acupressure. After returning from the initial chemotherapy, the subject will do acupressure at home by himself. The estimated number of subjects in this study will be determined by the effect size of the acupressure in the pilot study with the consideration of 30% attrition rate. This study plans to employ Tang Fatigue Rating Scale (TFRS), Hospital Anxiety Depression and Depression Scale (HADS), American Pain Society Patient Outcome Questionnaire-Pain Intensity Subscale (APS-POQ), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status Rating (ECOG-PSR), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to measure subjects' fatigue, depression and anxiety, pain intensity, physical performance status, and quality of sleep before the initial chemotherapy, on the 3rd cycle of chemotherapy, and on the 6th cycle of chemotherapy. In addition, the subjects shall record every morning and evening the changes of symptom for data analysis. This study plans to use general estimation equation (GEE) to analyze the study data to determine whether subjects of different groups as measured at different time points will have different levels of fatigue and relevant symptoms. The study results may serve as references to the management of fatigue symptom in patients with lung cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

Project IDs

Project ID:PC9808-0577
External Project ID:NSC98-2314-B182-059-MY2
Effective start/end date01/08/0931/07/10


  • fatigue
  • acupressure
  • experimental study
  • lung cancer
  • chemotherapy


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