Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in patients undergoing hemodialysis. It has a negative effect on quality of life in these patients. As routine treatments are not effective in this regard, complementary therapies may help to overcome this condition. This study aimed to investigate the effect of acupressure on constipation in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
This was a randomized double- blind placebo- controlled clinical trial conducted in 2014. A convenience sample of 70 patients undergoing hemodialysis was selected from hemodialysis units of three hospitals affiliated to Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Mazandaran, Iran. Patients were randomly assigned to intervention or control group. Intervention group received acupressure in acupressure points three times a week for four weeks during hemodialysis. In control group, acupressure was delivered in false points. We assessed the frequency of defecation in the two groups before and after the study. The study instruments consisted of a demographic questionnaire, and a data sheet for documenting constipation frequency.
The results indicated a significant difference between intervention group (13.73±3.63) and control group (10.06±3.77) in frequency of defecation during the fourth week of intervention (p<0.001). Regarding quality of stool, there was a meaningful difference between the groups in the fourth week in a way that the stool in the intervention group was more natural and in the control group, it was thicker and more adhesive.