Effectiveness of acupressure for residents of long-term care facilities with insomnia: a randomized controlled trial

Int J Nurs Stud. 2010 Jul;47(7):798-805. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Jan 6.


Background: Acupressure on the Shenmen point (indexed as HT7) can improve insomnia, but there has been no longitudinal study to evaluate its efficacy for residents of long-term care facilities. No evidence from the existing literature indicates how long its efficacy can be maintained after stopping acupressure.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of acupressure on the Shenmen point for residents of long-term care facilities with insomnia.

Methods: Fifty residents with insomnia in long-term care facilities were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial, with 25 participants allocated to the experimental group and 25 participants to the control group. For a 5-week period, the experimental group received standard acupressure on the HT7 points of both wrists, whereas the control group received only light touch on the same places. Insomnia was measured with the Athens Insomnia Scale-Taiwan form (AIS-T). Participants' self-reported scores were done at baseline, during the 5-week period, and after intervention. This study was analyzed on an intention-to-treat procedure.

Results: The experimental group has significantly better scores on the AIS-T compared to the control group, not only during the intervention period, but also extending after intervention, as shown by generalized estimating equations (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Offering acupressure on a regular basis has the potential to improve insomnia in residents of long-term care facilities. Acupressure on the HT7 point may improve insomnia for up to 2 weeks after the intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / organization & administration*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires