Patient-centred, self-administered acupressure for Chinese advanced cancer patients experiencing fatigue and co-occurring symptoms: A pilot randomised controlled trial

Denise Shuk Ting Cheung, Wing Fai Yeung, Pui Hing Chau, Tai Chung Lam, Mingxiao Yang, Kithelia Lai, Chun Yat Ip, Lixing Lao, Chia Chin Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility and potential effects of patient-centred self-administered acupressure for alleviating fatigue and co-occurring symptoms among Chinese advanced cancer patients receiving treatment. 

Methods: Thirty advanced cancer patients who screened positive for moderate/severe fatigue with symptoms of insomnia and/or pain were recruited from a hospital in Hong Kong. They were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive a 4-week patient-centred self-administered acupressure intervention or health education. Fatigue (primary outcome) and secondary outcomes (sleep quality, pain, fatigue–sleep disturbance–pain symptom cluster severity, anxiety, depression and quality of life) were measured by questionnaires and actigraphy. 

Results: Twenty-four participants (80%) completed the study. Adherence to self-administered acupressure practice was satisfactory, with all retained participants attending all sessions and 90.9% practising acupressure daily. All completers rated the class as very enjoyable or quite enjoyable. Fatigue, pain, symptom cluster severity, anxiety, depression and quality of life appeared to improve from baseline to post-intervention in the intervention group. Among these outcomes, only the between-group difference in anxiety post-intervention was significant. The group × time interaction effect was nonsignificant for all outcomes. 

Conclusions: Patient-centred self-administered acupressure appears to be feasible and acceptable among advanced cancer patients. A fully powered trial is warranted to confirm the intervention effect.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Sep 2020


  • acupressure
  • advanced cancer
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • pain
  • traditional Chinese medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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