Auricular Point Acupressure Smartphone Application to Manage Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Longitudinal, One-Group, Open Pilot Trial

Jennifer Kawi, Chao Hsing Yeh, Mengchi Li, Keenan Caswell, BS, Maurice Mazraani, MD, Nada Lukkahatai, PhD, RN, Sylvanus Mensah, RN, Janiece Taylor, Chakra Budhathoki, Paul Christo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) is the most common self-reported chronic pain condition. Current treatment for CMP is limited. Methods: This was a two-phase study. In Phase 1, three auricular point acupressure (APA)-naïve participants were recruited to explore their experiences of APA and a smartphone app was developed based on their feedback. In Phase 2, a prospective longitudinal study was used to examine the effectiveness of the smartphone app to self-manage CMP. Results: Phase 1 resulted in the successful development of the APA smartphone app. In Phase 2, after four weeks of APA, participants reported reduced pain intensity (30%), pain interference (35%), and disability (40%), as well as improved physical function (47%). The mean score for the participants’ perception of treatment efficacy was 4.94 (SD = 2.08, scale of 0–7) indicating that approximately 70% of participants rated global improvements with noticeable changes. The majority (88%, n = 22) of the participants were satisfied with the treatment: 32% [8] were very satisfied and 56% [n = 14] were somewhat satisfied. The average frequency of pressing APA seeds per day was 2.93 times (SD = 2.27, range 0–10) and 1.60 minutes per time (SD = 2.64, range 0–10); the participants were able to adhere to the suggested pressing time per day, although they only pressed the ear points about 53% of the suggested time. Conclusion: It is feasible for individuals to learn APA from the smartphone app and successfully self-administer APA to manage their pain. Participants found the app useful and were satisfied with the information provided through the app.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Advances In Health and Medicine
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • auricular point acupressure
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • self-management
  • smartphone application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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