Aug 22, 2017: Women who have acupuncture treatments after breast cancer surgery have a greater reduction in pain, nausea, and anxiety and are better able to cope on the first post-operative day compared to patients, who go through traditional care, claims a recent study.
Since we are always looking for non-pharmacologic pain management options, this study, published in Oncology Nursing journal, shows that acupuncture in the hospital after mastectomy is not only feasible, it also appears to decrease patients’ symptoms of pain, nausea, and anxiety,” said researcher Sue Sendelbach.
The team chose the study variables — pain, nausea, anxiety and ability to cope — in which members were asked to report the symptoms that are the most distressing and difficult to manage.
The patients entered their levels — on a zero to ten scale — of pain, nausea, anxiety, and ability to cope into a tablet computer immediately before and after receiving acupuncture.
Acupuncture was delivered as many as two times after surgery at least 12 hours apart.
Patients in the usual care group were seen two times after surgery at least 12 hours apart to collect the same variables.
“The results of this study demonstrate that acupuncture reduced patients’ perception of pain, anxiety and nausea by about 1.5 units, which is both clinically and statistically significant. For comparison, it is known that opioid medications reduce patients’ perception of pain by 1.9 units, which is comparable to the decrease for acupuncture in this study,” said researcher Jeffery A. Dusek.