Self-administered acupressure for knee osteoarthritis in middle-aged and older adults: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Denise Shuk Ting Cheung, Wing Fai Yeung, Lorna Kwai Ping Suen, Tsz Chung Chong, Yuan Shan Ho, Branda Yee Man Yu, Lily Ying Tung Chan, Hai Yong Chen, Li Xing Lao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To test the acceptability and feasibility of self-administered acupressure as an intervention for knee pain among middle-aged and older adults with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Methods: In this pilot randomized controlled trial, 35 participants with KOA were randomized to receive self-administered acupressure (n = 17, two self-administered acupressure training sessions followed by self-practice for 6 weeks) or knee health education (n = 18, two health education sessions about KOA management followed by self-care for 6 weeks). Current pain intensity (primary outcome) was measured using a Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) at baseline and weeks 1, 2, 4 and 6 (post-intervention). Secondary outcome measures included worst and least pain intensity, the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), range of motion (ROM) of the knee joints and Short-Form Six-Dimension (SF-6D) scores for health-related quality of life. Results: Participants in both groups attended all training sessions. In the self-administered acupressure group, all subjects mastered the acupressure technique and passed a consistency check. Both groups showed a decreasing trend in current knee pain intensity measured using NRS post-intervention. A medium between-group effect size (0.40) was found, but between-group differences were not statistically significant. The other secondary outcome measures were also comparable between both groups post-intervention (all p > 0.05). Conclusion: A two-session self-administered acupressure training was acceptable to and feasible in participants with KOA. The data generated allowed for calculation of a sample size for a definitive randomized controlled trial (RCT) to confirm whether self-acupressure is effective for pain management in KOA. Furthermore trials with adequate power and longer follow-up periods are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcupuncture in Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • intervention
  • knee pain
  • osteoarthritis of the knee
  • self-administered acupressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-administered acupressure for knee osteoarthritis in middle-aged and older adults: a pilot randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this