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Effects of Auricular Acupressure Therapy on Stress and Sleep Disturbance of Middle-Aged Women in South Korea

Cha, Nam Hyun PhD, RN; Park, Yi Kyun PhD, MS, RN; Sok, Sohyune R. PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000197

This study sought to examine the effect of auricular acupressure therapy on the stress and sleep status of middle-aged women in South Korea. A quasi-experimental pretest/posttest control group design was employed. The study sample consisted of 67 middle-aged women (experimental: 35 samples; control: 32 samples) in Seoul, South Korea. Auricular acupressure therapy including the auricular acupressure needle on the skin paper tape was applied on an ear for 2 weeks, 2 times per week. The acupoints were Gyogam, Sinmun, Bushin, Naebunbi, and Pijilha. For the placebo control group, only the skin paper tape without the auricular acupressure needle was applied on the same acupoints. Measures were a stress scale, cortisol level in blood, and a sleep status scale. The findings showed that there were significant differences on stress (physical: t = 2.170, P < .033; psychological: t = 2.117, P < .037), cortisol level in blood (t = 2.277, P < .025), and sleep status (t = −3.127, P < .004). Health care providers should consider providing auricular acupressure therapy as an alternative method for reducing physical and psychological stress, cortisol level in blood, and sleep disturbance of middle-aged women in South Korea.

Department of Nursing, Andong National University, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Republic of Korea (Dr Cha); and College of Nursing Science, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea (Drs Park and Sok).

Correspondence: Sohyune R. Sok, PhD, RN, College of Nursing Science, Kyung Hee University, 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea (

Authors' contributions: Study design: N.H.C. and Y.K.P.; data collection and data analysis: Y.K.P. and S.R.S.; manuscript preparation: N.H.C., Y.K.P., and S.R.S.

The authors are thankful to all the participants participated in the study.

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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