Effects of auricular acupressure on depression and anxiety in older adult residents of long-term care institutions: A randomized clinical trial

Geriatr Nurs. 2021 Jan-Feb;42(1):205-212. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2020.08.003. Epub 2020 Sep 11.


The current study was a single-blind clinical trial that evaluated the effect of auricular acupressure on older adults' depression and anxiety. Forty-seven older adults in long-term care institutions were randomly divided into two groups using block randomization. In the experimental group, patches with magnetic beads were pasted onto the auricular Shenmen acupoints for 14 days. In the control group, blank patches were used. Among the older adults in the study institutions, 82.09% scored ≥5 points on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Significant differences in GDS scores were observed between the two groups after both 7 and 14 days of treatment (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference (p < 0.05) in anxiety scores between the two groups at 7 days, but there was a significant difference after 14 days of the intervention (p < 0.05). Our results suggest that acupressure can reduce depression and anxiety among older adults in long-term care institutions.

Keywords: Anxiety; Auricular acupressure; Depression; Long-term care institution; Older adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure*
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Single-Blind Method