Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of auricular acupressure in the treatment of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.
Material and method: Ninety-eight volunteer pregnant women with symptoms of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy before 14 weeks gestation were enrolled. The participants were randomized into two groups: treatment group and control group. Each patient in the treatment group received magnet pellets, placed at both auricles. They were taught to start acupressure from the third to the sixth day. Outcome measurement was Rhodes index score, which describe the severity and frequency of nausea and vomiting in the form of a questionnaire. The patients from both groups were asked to complete and return the forms including the amount of anti-emetic drug taken. Mean Rhodes index score and total number of anti-emetic drug taken from day 4-6 were used to compare the treatment effect. Student's t test, Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U test were used for statistical analysis.
Results: Ninety-one pregnant women who returned the questionnaires were evaluated. The Rhodes index scores of the treatment group were lower than that of the control group especially after day 4 to day 6 when the acupressure was started. However when comparing the mean score between the two groups, there were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05). The total amount of anti-emetic tablets in day 4-6 after acupressure intervention was compared and there were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) between the groups.
Conclusion: Auricular acupressure therapy in treatment of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy may not relieve nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy and need further clinical research to confirm the effectiveness.