--Original published at MaddieHinson
Researchers noticed that using acupressure to relieve symptoms for breast cancer survivors has not been considered as a substantial treatment. The focus of this article was to study women who have breast cancer who deal with symptoms of anxiety, pain, and depression. These women are randomly assigned to participate in three different forms of treatment: Standard care, relaxing acupressure, and stimulating acupressure. Acupressure incorporates elements of shiatsu massage as well as acupuncture, however, with these experiments the patients were able to apply this treatment to themselves. Researchers were hypothesizing that these symptoms would be decreased because of this treatment and could improve the lives of people with this disease. The study was done over a ten week trial with 288 women.
The participants in this study were randomly selected women who had stage zero to stage three breast cancer and had done standard treatments in the last year along with experiencing the symptoms listed earlier. These women were also not allowed to be on another treatment plan, or currently have an actual disorder that was untreated so as to not be outliers in the study. Since most people do not know how to give acupressure to themselves, these women were instructed by a certified acupuncturist. To ensure that these women were doing the treatment correctly over the ten week study, they were assessed at the beginning and again at the end of the trial.
The researchers used different scales for each symptom to measure the progress. For example, when measuring fatigue, they used a scale from 1-10 in which the patients would be asked nine questions and depending on what score they received in the end is what determines whether or not their fatigue improved. The other symptoms being monitored in the study were examined through similar scales, based off the patients responses.
The results showed that overall, stimulating acupressure, which is the more intense therapy, improved these symptoms more than standard care did. There were some instances where standard care and relaxing acupressure resulted similarly. Interestingly enough, when it came to depressive symptoms, relaxing acupressure had more impact than stimulating acupressure. These different types of treatments can become confusing, but from this ten week study, there is a general consensus that this therapy shows overall improvements from these symptoms compared to standard care. However, because every patient is different, this treatment can not be clinically prescribed.
One of the reasons that I chose this article was because my best friend had past away about a year ago from breast cancer. She was someone who was always looking for alternate forms of treatment. To read about a therapy that is not harmful to the body and could possibly improve someone who is living with cancers’ symptoms or quality of life is important.
Trying to decide what is crucial to the article I found to be difficult. I thought of the five critical questions while writing this piece, which helped guide me through the organization of my paper. In my summary, I included only one variable measurement which was a decision I pondered about. I came to the conclusion that the scales used in the actual article varied and it made the article too complex. In both my summary and the original article we discussed the participants restrictions as well as them being randomly assigned to their treatment groups. The original article did not specifically discuss this experiment as being “True” and neither did I, although based on the explanations that were given through both papers, it meets the criteria for one. In both my summary as well as the original article there are explanations that describe generalization as well. I thought it was important to add that to the end of my paper so as not to give false information that this type of treatment would be guaranteed.
From doing the pop article critique, I learned that what is written on the surface, is not the whole story and that I need to ask questions before coming to any conclusions about a topic. Reading the actual scholarly article, although somewhat challenging, was eye-opening to the actual research and methods used. For this assignment, there were times where I had to look up words or concepts, as well as reread sentences. Being a journal writer can be difficult because you are trying to convey a message on something you have done many months of research on, whereas the reader might know nothing on the subject. I found the data that was in the middle of this article to be difficult to interpret and could have been replaced with other valuable results.
Zick, Maria, S., Ananda, Hassett, Luevano, A., Andrew, . . . Edmund, R. (2019, January 16). Impact of Self-Acupressure on Co-Occurring Symptoms in Cancer Survivors. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/jncics/article/2/4/pky064/5288407
Medicine, M. (2019, January 16). Acupressure relieves long-term symptoms of breast cancer treatment, study finds. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190116140631.htm