Context: Substantial evidence suggests that acupuncture-point stimulation may be effective in controlling side effects of chemotherapy.
Objective: To examine the efficacy of an acustimulation wristband for the relief of chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Design: Randomized clinical trial using a 3-level crossover design.
Setting: Three outpatient oncology clinics in the northeastern United States.
Participants: Twenty-five women and 2 men who experienced moderate or more severe nausea following their first chemotherapy treatment.
Intervention: We compared active acustimulation of the Pericardium 6 (PC-6) point on the ventral surface of the wrist with sham acustimulation (a corresponding point on the posterior surface of the wrist). A control group received no acustimulation.
Outcome measures: Severity of nausea and quantity of antiemetic medication used.
Results: No statistically significant differences in average severity of nausea were observed between the 3 interventions. However, the data showed a difference close to statistical significance in the severity of delayed nausea reported during active acustimulation compared to no acustimulation (P <.06). In addition, patients took fewer antinausea pills during the active-acustimulation cycle of this experiment compared to the no-acustimulation phase (P < .05).
Conclusion: Findings on the efficacy of an acustimulation band for the control of chemotherapy-induced nausea are positive but not conclusive. These findings provide ample justification for further study of acustimulation in clinical oncology.