Purpose: To reduce chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (CIN)—a significant challenge among cancer patients following chemotherapy—we explored the effects of auricular point acupressure (APA), which involves needleless, acupuncture-like stimulation on specific ear points. Design/Method: This pilot study examined the effects of a 4-week APA intervention in the management of CIN. Descriptive analysis was used to examine the changes in study outcomes. Results: Fifteen participants were enrolled. Two participants dropped out because they developed new medical conditions. Thirteen participants completed the study (87% retention rate). Study participants had more severe symptoms in their lower extremities (i.e., toes, feet, soles) than in their upper extremities (i.e., fingers, wrists, elbows). After the 4–week APA intervention, the mean percentage change scores ranged from 38% (tingling) to 49% (numbness); compared to pre-intervention, the therapeutic effects of APA were sustained at the 1-month follow-up. Function in both upper and lower extremities improved after the APA intervention (≥28%) and continued to improve at the 1-month follow-up (≥36%). Conclusions: Preliminary results from this small sample provide initial evidence of the effectiveness of APA on CIN. Future studies should confirm these results using a larger sample, a comparative sham control, and an examination of the underlying physiological mechanisms of the anti-CIN effects of APA. Clinical Implications: APA may provide an inexpensive and effective complementary approach for the self-management of CIN. Once the seeds have been taped to the patient's ear by the provider, patients are empowered to self-manage their CIN in their own environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing