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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 383257, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/383257
Research Article

Auricular Point Acupressure for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Feasibility Study for 1-Week Treatment

1School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 3500 Victoria Street, 440 Victoria Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA
3Department of Nursing, Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Taiwan
4World Academy of Auricular Medicine, FL, USA

Received 28 February 2012; Revised 8 May 2012; Accepted 8 May 2012

Academic Editor: David Baxter

Copyright © 2012 Chao-Hsing Yeh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. The objective of this one-group, repeated-measures design was to explore the acceptance of auricular point acupressure (APA) to reduce chronic low back pain (CLBP) and estimate minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for pain intensity change. Methods. Subjects received 7-day APA treatment. After appropriate acupoints were identified, vaccaria seeds were carefully taped onto each selected auricular point for 7-day. The Brief Pain Inventory Short Form (BPI) was used to collect outcome data. Results. A total of 74 subjects participated in the study. Ten subjects dropped out and the retention rate was 87%. Subjects reported a 46% reduction in BPI worst pain, and over 50% reduction in BPI average pain, overall pain severity and pain interference by the end of study, and 62.5% subjects also reported less pain medication use. The MCIDs for the subscale of BPI ranged from .70 to 1.86 points. The percentage improvement of MCIDs from baseline was between 14.5–24.9%. Discussion. APA appears to be highly acceptable to patients with CLBP. A sham group is needed in order to differentiate the true effects of APA from the possible psychological effects of more frequent visits by the auricular therapist and patients’ expectation of the APA treatment.