Fatigue is the most common symptom experienced by elderly cancer patients. It negatively affects their daily functioning and quality of life. Integrative approaches such as acupressure can be used to treat cancer-related fatigue in elderly patients.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acupressure on the severity and level of cancer-related fatigue in elderly patients with cancer.
This study was carried out in two stages comprising a quantitative study (pretest, posttest, randomized controlled) and a qualitative study (in-depth interview).
The study was conducted at the hematology and medical oncology clinic in a university hospital in Turkey.
The study included 31 cancer patients aged 65 and over, who were experiencing cancer-related fatigue.
Participants were randomly assigned to the acupressure group (intervention group) or the control group. The intervention group was administered acupressure on three acupuncture points on the hands and legs (LI4, SP6, ST36) by caregivers or the patients themselves for three minutes twice daily, for a period of four weeks. The acupressure group was examined before and after the four-week intervention. The control group was similarly examined though no intervention was applied.
Data were collected using Patient Information Form, Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Piper Fatigue Scale (PFS), and Acupressure Experience Patient Opinion Form.
In the follow-up examination of individuals in the acupressure group, there was a significant reduction in the severity and level of fatigue compared to the first examination. However, there was no significant difference between the first and second examination of individuals in the control group. The qualitative findings obtained during the in-depth interview support the quantitative findings of the study.
Acupressure can be recommended as an integrative treatment for cancer-related fatigue because it is effective, easy to use, tolerable and does not cause serious side effects.