Age and ageing 2017 05 02() 1-8 doi 10.1093/ageing/afx050
‘Frailty’ is being increasing recognised as a geriatric syndrome of growing importance in the medical field. Acupressure is a non-pharmacological, non-invasive Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment, which may serve to improve the quality of life (QOL) or prevent the progressive advancement of frailty in the aged population.
to investigate the effects of a 12-week, TCM-principle guided acupressure intervention on the QOL of the frail older people living in the community.
this is a randomised controlled trial with waitlist control design. Treatment group received 15 min of acupressure treatment, four times a week from both TCM practitioners and trained caregivers for 12 consecutive weeks. The waitlist control group served as a care-as-usual comparison to the treatment group for the 1st 12 weeks and then received the same treatment. Intention-to-treat principle was followed and mixed-effects models were used for data analysis.
the mean age of the participants was 76.12 ± 7.08, with a mean Tilburg frailty index score of 7.13 ± 1.76. Significant between-group differences were found in the change of physical domain score of WHOQOL-BREF (P = 0.001); change of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (P < 0.001) and pain intensity (P = 0.006) with the treatment group demonstrating greater improvement. Within-group effect size analysis also indicated that the acupressure protocol has significant impact on these areas. Conclusions
the study’s outcomes indicated that the acupressure protocol, when applied continuously for 12 weeks, 3-4 times a week, could improve the general QOL of frail older people living in community dwellings.