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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 570431, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/570431
Research Article

Training Self-Administered Acupressure Exercise among Postmenopausal Women with Osteoarthritic Knee Pain: A Feasibility Study and Lessons Learned

1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th Street, STOP 8143, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
2Department of Pathology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
3School of Allied Health Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
4Clinical Research Institute, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
5School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
6Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
7Department of Family and Community Medicine, TCM Research Program, Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, East Hall, 520 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Received 30 May 2012; Revised 14 August 2012; Accepted 24 August 2012

Academic Editor: Vitaly Napadow

Copyright © 2012 Yan Zhang 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

Background. Osteoarthritis (OA) is more prevalent in women, particularly after menopausal age. Women are more likely to seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches. We examined the feasibility of training self-administered acupressure exercise and assessed its impact on OA symptoms among women with knee OA. Methods. Thirty-six eligible postmenopausal women were randomly assigned in the acupressure exercise group ( ) or the control group ( ) for 12 weeks. Feasibility outcomes (e.g., compliance and adverse effects) and clinical outcomes (e.g., pain, stiffness, and physical function) were assessed. Data were collected at baseline, 6 weeks and 12 weeks. Both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analysis were employed. Results. The training materials were well received. The feedback from participants suggests that self-administered acupressure exercise is easy to learn and safe to perform at home, although no statistically significant results of the clinical outcome were observed. Our findings didn’t reveal superiority or inferiority of acupressure compared with usual care. Conclusion. Acupressure exercise is feasible to be trained among postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis. Due to the limitations of this study such as small sample size and high attrition rate, acupressure’s efficacy needs to be further explored in larger scale studies with more rigorous design.