Hospitalization in the cardiac care unit can increase anxiety in patients. This study aimed to compare hand reflexology versus acupressure on anxiety and vital signs in female patients with coronary artery diseases. This double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled trial with a pre- and post-intervention design was conducted on 135 female patients with coronary artery diseases. Female patients hospitalized in a cardiac care unit were randomly divided into three groups of hand reflexology, acupressure and placebo (n = 45 patients in each group) using blocking and a table of random numbers. Data was collected using the Spielberger anxiety inventory. Also, their vital signs were measured before, immediately after and half an hour after the intervention. Data analysis was performed using descriptive and analytical statistics. Before the intervention, there was no statistically significant difference in anxiety levels between the groups (p > 0.05). Also, the effects of hand reflexology and acupressure immediately and half an hour later on the reduction of anxiety and vital signs were equal (p < 0.05). Implementation of hand reflexology and acupressure can have positive effects on anxiety and vital signs in patients with coronary artery diseases. They can reduce patients' anxiety with an equal effectiveness.
Keywords: acupressure; anxiety; complementary therapies; coronary artery disease; hand reflexology; vital sign.