Effects of SP6 acupressure on labor pain and length of delivery time in women during labor

J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Dec;10(6):959-65. doi: 10.1089/acm.2004.10.959.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of SP6 acupressure on labor pain and delivery time in women in labor.

Design: Randomized clinical trial.

Setting/location: Delivery room in a university hospital.

Participants: Seventy-five (75) women in labor were randomly assigned to either the SP6 acupressure (n = 36) or SP6 touch control (n = 39) group. The participants were matched according to parity, cervical dilation, labor stage, rupture of amniotic membrane, and husband's presence during labor. There were no additional oxytocin augmentation or administration of analgesics during the study period.

Intervention: The 30-minute acupressure or touch on SP6 acupoint was performed.

Outcome measures: Labor pain was measured four times using a structured questionnaire, a subjective labor pain scale (visual-analogue scale [VAS]): before intervention, immediately after the intervention, and 30 and 60 minutes after the intervention. Length of delivery time was calculated in two stages: from 3 cm cervical dilation to full cervical dilatation, and full cervical dilatation to the delivery.

Results: There were significant differences between the groups in subjective labor pain scores at all time points following the intervention: immediately after the intervention (p = 0.012); 30 minutes after the intervention (p = 0.021); and 60 minutes after the intervention (p = 0.012). The total labor time (3 cm dilatation to delivery) was significantly shorter in the SP6 acupressure intervention group than in the control group (p = 0.006).

Conclusions: These findings showed that SP6 acupressure was effective for decreasing labor pain and shortening the length of delivery time. SP6 acupressure can be an effective nursing management for women in labor.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure / methods*
  • Acupuncture Points
  • Adult
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Korea
  • Labor Pain / therapy*
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / prevention & control
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors