Effectiveness of auricular point therapy for cancer-related fatigue: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Qiong Han, Liu Yang, Shuang Yan Huang, Jerry W.F. Yeung, Xiao Huan Chen, Hui Xue, Li Ping Xu, Lorna K.P. Suen

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To systemically review the efficacy and safety of auricular point therapy in patients with cancer-related fatigue. Design: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Data sources: Eight electronic databases (PubMed, CENTRAL, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science, China Biology Medicine, China National Knowledge Infrastructure and WanFang Data Knowledge Service Platform) were explored for randomized controlled trials from their inception to 1 December 2018. Review methods: The risk of bias assessment tool was adopted in accordance with Cochrane Handbook 5.3.0. All included studies reported the effects on cancer-related fatigue as the primary outcome. Effect size was estimated using relative risk, standardized mean difference or mean difference with a corresponding 95% confidence interval. Review Manager 5.3 was used for meta-analysis. Results: Six studies comprising 394 patients were included. The results of meta-analysis showed that auricular point therapy plus standard care produced more positive effects on cancer-related fatigue and quality of life than standard care alone. It could significantly improve the role, emotional, cognitive, and social functions of patients with cancer-related fatigue. Conclusions: Auricular point therapy may be a safe therapy to relieve cancer-related fatigue and enhance the quality of life of patients with cancer. However, the evidence was inconclusive due to limitations on the quantity and quality of included studies. Rigorously designed randomized controlled trials should be conducted to verify the results. Impact: Auricular point therapy is a simple and safe therapeutic approach that may alleviate cancer-related fatigue of common complications in patients with cancer and it is worth promoting in the community, family, and hospital. Moreover, the research findings can provide suggestions and inspiration for nurses and researchers to implement the proposal, which is conducive to design more rigorous and high-quality randomized controlled trials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • auricular point therapy
  • cancer-related fatigue
  • fatigue
  • meta-analysis
  • nursing
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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