Manipulative and body-based methods in chronic kidney disease patients: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2022 Aug:48:101593. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101593. Epub 2022 Apr 15.


Background: and purpose: Among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, manipulative and body-based methods (MBM) have demonstrated efficacy in improving symptoms such as fatigue. This review aims to summarize the efficacy and safety of MBM among CKD patients.

Methods: A systematic review was performed in PubMed, Embase, Scopus, CINAHL, CENTRAL and PsycInfo. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) which evaluated the use of MBM among adult CKD patients were included. The grading of recommendations, assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to determine the risk of bias and certainty of evidence. The efficacy of each MBM was determined by reduction in symptom severity scores. All adverse reactions were documented.

Results: Of 8529 articles screened, 55 RCTs were included. Acupressure (n = 23), massage therapy (n = 17), reflexology (n = 6) and acupuncture (n = 5) were the most studied MBMs. Acupressure and reflexology were shown to reduce sleep disturbance and fatigue by 6.2-50.0% and 9.1-37.7% respectively. For uremic pruritus, acupressure and acupuncture reduced symptoms by 34.5-77.7% and 56.5-60.2% respectively. Common adverse reactions associated with acupressure included intradialytic hypotension (20.4%) and dizziness (11.1%) while that of acupuncture included elbow soreness (7.5%) and bleeding (7.5%). No adverse effects were reported for massage therapy, moxibustion, reflexology and yoga therapy.

Conclusion: Acupressure, reflexology and massage therapies were the most well-studied MBMs which have demonstrated efficacy in alleviating sleep disturbance, fatigue and uremic pruritus symptoms in CKD patients.

Keywords: Chronic; Complementary therapies; Manipulative and body-based therapies; Renal insufficiency; Systematic reviews; Therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure*
  • Adult
  • Fatigue
  • Humans
  • Pruritus / complications
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / therapy