Auricular point acupressure to manage aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors: A pilot study

Chao Hsing Yeh, Wei Chun Lin, Kwai Ping Lorna Suen, Na Jin Park, Lisa J. Wood, G. J. Van Londen, Dana Howard Bovbjerg

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose/Objectives: To assess the feasibility of auricular point acupressure to manage aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia. Design: Wait list control design. Setting: Outpatient clinics and oncology center. Sample: 20 women with aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia. Methods: After baseline data were collected, participants waited one month before they received acupressure once per week for four weeks at a convenient time. The baseline data served as the control comparison. Self-reported measures and blood samples were obtained at baseline, at preintervention, weekly during the intervention, and at postintervention. Main Research Variables: The primary outcomes included pain intensity, pain interference, stiffness, and physical function. Inflammatory cytokines and chemokines were tested. Findings: After the four-week intervention, participants reported decreases in worst pain and pain interference, and improvements in physical function, cancer-related symptom severity, and interference. The proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines displayed a trend of a mean percentage reduction. The anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-13 increased from pre-to postintervention. Conclusions: Auricular point acupressure is feasible and may be effective in managing arthralgia in breast cancer survivors. Implications for Nursing: Nurses can administer acupressure in clinical settings, which could enhance the management of aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia and contribute to a shift from traditional disease-based biomedical models to a broader, integrative, medical paradigm for managing aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-487
Number of pages12
JournalOncology Nursing Forum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Acupressure
  • Aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia
  • Breast cancer survivors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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