Anxiety, fear and other unpleasant emotional experiences are common among patients before and after cardiovascular procedures.
According to a recent study published in Healthcare (Vasokolaei, 2019), hand reflexology and acupressure are equally effective for reducing anxiety in patients with coronary artery diseases.
Aware that hospitalisation can increase anxiety in patients, a team of researchers in Tehran, Iran, conducted a randomised controlled trial to determine whether hand reflexology or acupressure would produce beneficial effects.
One hundred and thirty-five women with coronary artery disease were randomly assigned to three groups, receiving hand reflexology, acupressure or a placebo. For the first group, hand reflexology was performed on each hand for 10 minutes, using the Ingham method of reflexology, covering points corresponding to the solar plexus, pituitary gland and heart, with moderate pressure applied to each hand. The acupressure was also performed for 10 minutes on each hand, applying pressure to the Nei Guan point. For the placebo, similar conditions to the intervention groups were created, but a thumb touching method was used without applying acupressure or hand reflexology. The patients were asked to complete a questionnaire to examine the effects of treatments.
The results revealed significant changes in anxiety in the hand reflexology and acupressure groups, when compared to the placebo group. Mean anxiety scores reduced similarly with both treatments, indicating that they were equally effective.
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Rahmani Vasokolaei Z, Rejeh N, Heravi-Karimooi M, Tadrisi SD, Saatchi K, Poshtchaman Z, Sieloff C, Vaismoradi M. Comparison of the Effects of Hand Reflexology versus Acupressure on Anxiety and Vital Signs in Female Patients with Coronary Artery Diseases. Healthcare (Basel). 2019 Feb 11;7(1):26. doi: 10.3390/healthcare7010026. PMID: 30754687; PMCID: PMC6473738.