Effect of home-based acupressure on constipation in people with spinal cord injury: A study protocol for a randomized controlled trial with a mixed-method approach

Yan Li, Jiaying Li, Mengqi Li, Yuen Shan Ho, Tsz Ching Sun, Shanshan Wang, Wai Kit Wong, Shiping Zhang, Rick Kwan, Arnold YL Wong, Wing Fai Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: People with spinal cord injuries often experience constipation. Common surgical and conservative treatments for constipation may have long-term adverse events that outweigh their benefits in relieving symptoms temporarily. This proposed study aims to investigate the effects of acupressure on constipation, quality of life, psychosocial well-being, and bowel habits in a community-based spinal cord injury population. Methods: This two-parallel-group, open-label controlled trial will randomly assign 78 eligible participants to the intervention or control groups. After receiving defecation education, the intervention group will perform 10-days of self-operated or caregiver-assisted acupressure manually, while the control group will conduct a manual light touch on the abdomen. The study will assess participants' constipation severity as the primary outcome, along with secondary outcomes including quality of life, psychosocial well-being, bowel habits, and participants’ perceptions of acupressure. Participants' perceptions of acupressure will be assessed through semi-structured focus group interviews after intervention. Other measurements will be taken at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and at a 1-month follow-up. The generalized estimating equations and content analysis will be employed to analyze the intervention effect and interview data, respectively. Discussion: This study will be the first to evaluate the effect of applying acupressure in people with spinal cord injuries to improve their constipation. The intervention may offer an alternate, non-invasive therapy option for individuals with spinal cord injuries who live in the community. Trial registration: This study is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, ID: NCT05558657. Register date: September 28, 2022.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102360
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Volume68
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Acupressure
  • Constipation
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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