(HealthDay News) — Acupressure may be better than acupuncture for reducing sleep disturbance in cancer patients, according to research published in Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the comparative effectiveness of acupuncture and acupressure on sleep in cancer patients.

The analysis included 24 randomized controlled trials and 2002 cancer patients. The trials covered 6 interventions — manual acupuncture, electroacupuncture, acupressure, sham, enhanced usual care, and no treatment.

Continue Reading

The researchers found that, compared with enhanced supportive care, acupressure demonstrated the largest effect size for reducing self-reported sleep disturbance (standardized mean difference [SMD], −2.67), followed by acupuncture (SMD, −1.87) and electroacupuncture (SMD, −1.60).

“Based on available evidence, acupressure may be a more promising approach than acupuncture for reducing sleep disturbance in patients with cancer,” corresponding author Denise Shuk Ting Cheung, PhD, RN, of the University of Hong Kong, said in a statement. “Future studies should focus on the differential mechanisms of action of acupressure and acupuncture and link them to the multifactorial causes of sleep disturbance in patients with cancer.”

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)