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Effect of Acupuncture or Massage on Health-Related Quality of Life of Hemodialysis Patients


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of acupuncture and massage on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) among end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.

Pre-post test design.

A hemodialysis (HD) unit located in a university hospital.

Participants were given the option to choose between 20 min sessions of massage or acupuncture therapy once a week for 8 weeks by licensed acupuncturists and massage therapists while undergoing their usual HD session in the University of California, San Diego Chronic HD unit.

Outcome measures:
Participants were asked to complete pre- and postintervention surveys, which consisted of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Global Health Short Form and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item Scale.

A total of 101 patients were included in this study. The average age was 57.6 (standard deviation: 14.5) dialysis vintage 7.5 years, 58% patients were male and the most common etiology of ESRD was diabetic nephropathy (45%). Patients had multiple comorbidities as can be expected for this population with the most common being hypertension (94%), diabetes mellitus (53%), and cardiovascular disease (53%).

In this brief intervention study, we were able to find a trend toward improvement in overall HR-QOL as determined by the PROMIS score (p = 0.08). PROMIS mental raw score improved with intervention, which was statistically significant (p = 0.034).

Use of complementary therapies such as massage and acupuncture during HD may contribute toward improvement of HR-QOL and thus should be considered when addressing overall health status of these patients

Authors: Bullen Alexander, Awdishu Linda, Lester Wendy, Moore Teri  and Trzebinska Danuta

Published Online: 31 May 2018

Pulbiziert in: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine


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