Effectiveness and safety profiling of zolpidem and acupressure in CKD associated pruritus: An interventional study : Medicine

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Research Article: Clinical Trial/Experimental Study

Effectiveness and safety profiling of zolpidem and acupressure in CKD associated pruritus

An interventional study

Rehman, Inayat Ur Pharm D, MSca,b; Ahmed, Raheel MBBSc; Rahman, Aziz Ur MBBS, FRCS, D.Urologyd; Wu, David Bin Chia PhDa; Munib, Syed MBBS, FCPSc; Shah, Yasar PhDb; Khan, Nisar Ahmad MBBS, MRCP, D. Nephrology FRCPe; Rehman, Ateeq Ur PhDf; Lee, Learn Han PhDg; Chan, Kok Gan PhDh,i; Khan, Tahir Mehmood PhDa,j,∗

Editor(s): Lin., Hugo You-Hsien

Author Information
Medicine 100(21):p e25995, May 28, 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000025995

Abstract

Erratum

In the article, “Effectiveness and safety profiling of zolpidem and acupressure in CKD associated pruritus an interventional study”, which was published in Volume 100, Issue 21 of Medicine, a decimal was missing from Table 1 from the Mean duration +/-SD (years) column and P value row. The cell originally appeared as 0104 b and has been corrected to 0.104 b.

Medicine. 100(24):e26345, June 18, 2021.

1 Introduction

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has emerged as life-threatening problem globally[1,2] and over past 10 years mortality due to CKD has increased by 31.7%.[3] In Pakistan, every third person suffers from CKD,[4] and there is an estimated annual increase of 100 per million population.[5] Chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) is a bothersome complication experienced by 64% to 77.7% of patients on hemodialysis in Pakistan.[6–10] CKD-aP contributes to poor quality of life, including reduced sleep quality.[11–14] In Pakistan; 55% of patients have sleep disturbance due to CKD-aP and 13% of patients experience awakened states due to CKD-aP.[10] Poor sleep quality is a source of patient stress and is linked to lower health-related quality of life.[15]

For CKD patients, the commonly used pharmacological treatments for sleep disturbance and insomnia are benzodiazepine receptor agonists of the non-benzodiazepine class, which are termed as “Z-drugs” (zolpidem, zaleplon, Zopiclone, and eszopiclone)[16] benzodiazepine-receptor agonists (Temezapam, lorazepam, triazolam)[16]; orexin antagonist (Suvorexant)[16] and melatonin (a pineal hormone).[16–18] Among the pharmacotherapy for insomnia among CKD patients, in dialysis centers the nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics are an alternative due to no active metabolites, no physical dependence and few or no adverse events.[19–21] No dose adjustment is required for zolpidem among CKD patients.[16,17] A study on the effect of zolpidem for insomnia among hemodialysis patients reported no adverse effects such as amnesia and daytime drowsiness,[22] and it improved sleep quality.[22] Among nonpharmacological interventions for the treatment of insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),[23] acupressure,[23–30] physical exercise and a change of dialysis modality are widely used.[23] Acupressure is a technique practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine by stimulating acupoints, by applying pressure using the thumb, finger or hand. It is a noninvasive therapy that is linked to a low risk of side effects.[31] Previous studies on acupressure among hemodialysis patients showed an improvement in sleep quality.[32,33]

Keeping in mind the prominence of impaired quality of life due to CKD-aP on hemodialysis, it is imperative to conduct an interventional study for improvement of sleep quality among patients with CKD-aP on hemodialysis. This randomized controlled trial compared the effectiveness of zolpidem versus acupressure in reducing the Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score among CKD-aP patients on hemodialysis, and safety profiling both zolpidem and acupressure. The findings of this study will be helpful to clinical practice by giving future directions to treat sleep disturbance and improving the quality of life among CKD-aP patients on hemodialysis.

2 Materials and methods

This was a multicenter, prospective, randomized, parallel-design, open label interventional study to estimate the effectiveness of zolpidem (10 mg) oral tablets versus acupressure on sleep quality and quality of life in CKD-aP patients on hemodialysis. The study was conducted at North West General Hospital & Research Center Peshawar, Pakistan and Institute of Kidney Diseases Peshawar, Pakistan. The study flow is presented in Figure 1.

F1
Figure 1:
Study flow diagrams.

2.1 Study duration and participants’ eligibility criteria

The duration of this study was from March 2018 to June 2018. The study comprised adult CKD-aP patients (above age of 18 years) on hemodialysis with affected sleep quality, and not on any medication to treat pruritus or sleep. The exclusion criteria was: patients having PSQI score less than 5.

2.2 Data collection and randomization of participants

The patient demographics, all subjective information and all laboratory parameters were recorded on a designed data collection form. The Urdu version of the 5D itch scale[9] was used for assessment of CKD-aP, along with an Urdu version of the PSQI tool[34] for eligibility of participants. Participants who had disturbed sleep and impaired quality of life due to CKD-aP were recruited.

Simple random sampling technique was used from a list of random numbers of eligible patients that was compiled by using the patient's hospital identification numbers. After recruitment the patients were requested to handpick an envelope from the basket indicating allocation to either intervention group or control group. Participants were randomized 1:1 into 2 groups, that is, a control group in which participants received daily acupressure therapy on acupoints KI-1(Yongquan) in both feet, and an intervention group that received zolpidem 10 mg tablets (orally) once daily. In the control group, the acupressure therapy was applied with an intensity adjusted to the patient's level of tolerance, for a total of 6 minutes (3 minutes per foot) per day, for 8 weeks. The sleep quality score on PSQI tool and quality of life score on EQ5D-3L was calculated at 3 and 2 different intervals respectively (i.e., baseline; week 4 and week 8) to measure the effect over time. However, at week 6 the participants in intervention group (zolpidem) were asked regarding any experienced side effects after taking the tablet once daily. Participants in the control group were questioned about acceptability toward acupressure on “Treatment Acceptability Questionnaire (TAQ).”

2.3 Safety assessment and severity of adverse drug reactions

Naranjo algorithm was used to measure recording and authenticating of drug-related events.[35,36] The adverse event for zolpidem 10 mg tablets taken (orally) once daily were recorded; if any major adverse event had occurred, the therapy would have been considered for suspension. All the patients completing 6 weeks of zolpidem 10 mg oral tablets once daily were assessed for experienced adverse events.

2.4 Sample size

The sample size was based on a statistical superiority trial (continuous data) design of an interventional study. The hypothesis for this trial is that acupressure is a more effective therapy to improve sleep quality among CKD-aP patients, which has already been explained in the protocol published for this randomized controlled trial.[37]

2.5 Ethical considerations and data analysis

Informed written consent was taken from all participants before enrolling in this study. The study was approved by the Ethics and Research Committee of Institute of Kidney Diseases Peshawar, Pakistan; North West General Hospital & Research Center Peshawar, Pakistan and Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee. The trial protocol is registered under Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (Trial ID: ACTRN12618000001291). This study involving human participants is in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Statistical analysis was performed by using SPSS 22. Both the descriptive and inferential statistics were applied; participants’ demographic characteristics were expressed as frequencies (percentages) and mean ± SD for continuous normally distributed variables. As multiple measurements at different timelines were taken from each participant for sleep quality score using the PSQI tool, the general linear model is inappropriate. Generalized estimating equations (GEEs) are appropriate for analysis of longitudinal data and repeated measures.[38] GEEs based on a correlation matrix AR (1) were used to estimate the improvement in PSQI score over time in individual patients, assessed on 3 occasions. Covariates (i.e., patient group, age, gender, marital status, history of renal disease, history of dialysis, and visits to dialysis center) were included to control for potential confounding effects. A Wald Chi-Squared test was used to test the significance of regression coefficients. The quality of life responses of participants were recorded on EQ-5D-3L questionnaire and the responses were coded to dichotomize the EQ-5D levels into “no problems” (i.e., level 1) and “problems” (i.e., levels 2 and 3).[39] The EQ-5D-3L index scores were obtained by the crosswalk calculator methodology developed by Euro-QoL group.[40,41] However, to compare baseline and week 8 of EQ5D index score and EQ-VAS, a pair t test was used. A P value of <.05 was considered statistically significant. Analysis was based on intention to treat.

3 Results

Upon the initial assessment, a total of 58 hemodialysis patients having sleep disturbance due to CKD-aP were eligible. The control (acupressure) group consisted of 28 patients, the majority (57.1%) of whom were males. The overall mean age of patients in this group was 44.42 ± 16.82 years (Mean ± SD). The intervention (zolpidem) group consisted of 30 patients, the majority (56.7%) of whom were male. The overall mean age of patients in this group was 44.80 ± 14.26 years (Mean ± SD). The majority (50%) of the patients in both control and intervention groups were illiterate. A majority of the patients (35.7%) in the control group had a history of chronic kidney disease for 3 to 4 years; while in the intervention group (40.0%) of patients had a history of chronic kidney disease for 1 to 2 years. However, 35.7% of patients in the control group and 30.0% of patients in the intervention group had a history of dialysis of less than 1 year. The majority of patients (78.6%) in the control group and 100.0% in the intervention group were doing dialysis twice a week (as shown in Table 1). Details of laboratory clinical value of participants at baseline are shown in Table 2, while details about the other common medications administered to the patients during the study period are given in Table 3.

Table 1 - Demographics of respondents.
Statement Total N = 58 (%) Control group N = 28 (%) Intervention group N = 30 (%) P value
Gender
 Male 33 (56.9) 16 (57.1) 17 (56.7) .971 a
 Female 25 (43.1) 12 (42.9) 13 (43.3)
Age
 18-30 years 9 (15.5) 5 (17.9) 4 (13.3) .281 b
 31-40 years 19 (32.8) 10 (35.7) 9 (30.0)
 41-50 years 11 (19.0) 2 (7.1) 9 (30.0)
 51-60 years 7 (12.1) 4 (14.3) 3 (10.0)
 61 years and above 12 (20.7) 7 (25.0) 5 (16.7)
 Mean age ± SD (years) 44.81 ± 15.34 44.42 ± 16.82 44.80 ± 14.26 .815 c
Weight of patient (Kg)
 Mean weight ± SD 63.15 ± 13.38 65.21 ± 14.27 61.22 ± 12.43 .357 c
Education status
 Illiterate 29 (50.0) 10 (35.7) 19 (63.3) .052 b
 Secondary level 3 (5.2) 1 (3.6) 2 (6.7)
 High school level 17 (29.3) 9 (32.1) 8 (26.7)
 Graduation 2 (3.4) 2 (7.1) 0 (0)
 Post-graduation 7 (12.1) 6 (21.4) 1 (3.3)
Marital status
 Married 47 (81.0) 21 (75.0) 26 (86.7) .257 a
 Unmarried 11 (19.0) 7 (25.0) 4 (13.3)
History chronic kidney disease
 < 1 year 9 (15.5) 3 (10.7) 6 (20.0) .104 b
 1-2 years 19 (32.8) 7 (25.0) 12 (40.0)
 3-4 years 14 (24.1) 10 (35.7) 4 (13.3)
 5-6 years 3 (5.2) 2 (7.1) 1 (3.3)
 7-8 years 6 (10.3) 1 (3.6) 5 (16.7)
 9years and more 7 (12.1) 5 (17.9) 2 (6.7)
 Mean duration ± SD (years) 2.98 ± 1.59 3.21 ± 1.59 2.77 ± 1.59 0.104 b
History of dialysis
 < 1 year 19 (32.8) 10 (35.7) 9 (30.0) .429 b
 1-2 years 19 (32.8) 6 (21.4) 13 (43.3)
 3-4 years 12 (20.7) 7 (25.0) 5 (16.7)
 5-6 years 4 (6.9) 2 (7.1) 2 (6.7)
 7-8 years 4 (6.9) 3 (10.7) 1 (3.3)
 Mean duration ± SD (years) 2.22 ± 1.38 2.36 ± 1.33 2.10 ± 1.02 .429 b
Dialysis frequency
 Twice a week 52 (89.7) 22 (78.6) 30 (100) .008 b
 Thrice a week 6 (10.3) 6 (21.4) 0 (0)
a: Chi-Squared test; b:Fisher exact test; c:independent t test, statistically significantPvale <.05.

Table 2 - Laboratory clinical values of participants at baseline.
Lab Tests Control group Intervention group
Uric acid 155 mg/dL ± 47.5 166 mg/dL ± 53.8
Serum Creatinine 893 μ mol/L ± 427.4 959 μ mol/L ± 423.3
Chloride 104 mmol/L ± 8.5 103 mmol/L ± 8.8
Potassium 5.1 mmol/L ± 0.7 5.2 mmol/L ± 0.8
Sodium 136 mmol/L ± 4.2 137 mmol/L ± 5.8
Magnesium 2.1 mg/dL ± 0.2 2.1 mg/dL ± 0.2
Phosphorous 4.9 mg/dL ± 1.1 4.7 mg/dL ± 0.9
Hb 10.3 g/dL ± 1.7 10.0 g/dL ± 1.0
WBC 6.9 × 103/cu mm ± 1.7 7.2 × 103/cu mm ± 1.6
Platelets 212 × 103 per mm3 ± 76.2 238 × 103 per mm3 ± 83.2
Value are shown in mean ± SD.

Table 3 - Medications consumed by the patients.
Drugs Strength N
Nifedipine 30 mg 11
60 mg 6
Amlodipine 5 mg 2
10 mg 4
Furosemide 40 mg 6
80 mg 4
Telmisartan 40 mg 1
Valsartan 80 mg 7
Losartan 25 mg 2
50 mg 1
Bisoprolol 5 mg 6
Carvedilol 3.125 mg 1
6.25 mg 5
Glimepiride 2 mg 1
Metformin 500 mg 1
Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor 25 mg 1
50 mg 1
Esomeprazole 20 mg 2
40 mg 1
Omeprazole 20 mg 8
40 mg 8
Simvastatin 10 mg 2
Atorvastatin 10 mg 1
Alfacalcidol 0.5 mcg 25
Sevelamer 400 mg 18
800 mg 5
Erythropoietin 2000 iu 2
4000 iu 12
Iron supplements 25
Ranitidine 150 mg 3
Aspirin 75 mg 3
Clopidogrel 75 mg 1
Xanthine oxidase inhibitor 80 mg 4

3.1 Assessment of CKD-aP and sleep score for eligibility of participants

The assessment of patients for eligibility criteria for having CKD-aP was carried out by Urdu 5D itch scale. Overall, the degree and direction were the 2 main domains affected by CKD-aP. However, disabilities in sleep (mean = 3.74 ± 1.26) and leisure/social activities (mean = 1.76 ± 1.11) were the 2 sub-domains mostly affected by CKD-aP. Overall, the mean score for the Urdu 5D itch scale was 10.88 ± 2.50 (range 7 to 19) as shown in Table 4. However, participants who had sleep quality score on the Urdu version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) of more than 5 (range 5 to 21) were eligible.

Table 4 - CKD associated pruritus assessment for eligibility of patients on Urdu 5D itch scale.
Domain Mean score ± Standard deviation
Duration 1.26 ± 0.84
Degree 2.26 ± 0.48
Direction 2.03 ± 0.72
Disability
Sleep 3.74 ± 1.26
Leisure/Social life 1.76 ± 1.11
House work 1.40 ± 0.85
Work/school 1.38 ± 0.81
Distribution 1.55 ± 0.65
Mean 5D-IS score 10.88 ± 2.50
Range 7 to 19

3.2 Assessment of primary outcome:

3.2.1 Comparison of PSQI score for control group and intervention group at baseline, week 4 and week 8

The PSQI score for baseline, week 4 and week 8 are shown in Table 5. At baseline, week 4 and week 8, the PSQI scores with a mean ± SD for the control group was 12.28 ± 3.59, 9.46 ± 3.90, and 9.25 ± 3.99, respectively. The PSQI scores with a mean ± SD for the intervention group at baseline, week 4 and week 8 were 14.73 ± 4.14, 10.13 ± 4.04, and 10.03 ± 3.89, respectively (as shown in Table 5).

Table 5 - Mean score of Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index baseline and week 8 for control and intervention group.
Control group Intervention group
PSQI score N Mean S.D N Mean S.D
Baseline 28 12.28 3.59 30 14.73 4.14
Week 4 28 9.46 3.90 30 10.13 4.04
Week 8 28 9.25 3.99 30 10.03 3.89

3.2.2 Longitudinal assessment of the effect on PSQI score over time

Upon transforming the PSQI score (baseline, week 4 and week 8) into longitudinal data, GEEs were applied using PSQI as a dependent variable. By using GEE analysis to test the variance with group, the PSQI scores were significantly reduced after week 4 and week 8 (P = < .001) in comparison to baseline. Furthermore, at the end of the study, the PSQI scores were significantly higher in the control as compared to the intervention group (P = .012). The interaction between timeline and patients group (control and intervention) was not significantly different but it can be observed that the PSQI score reduced in both patient groups (as shown in Table 6).

Table 6 - Effect of other covariates on the PSQI score over time (n = 58).
Parameter B Wald Chi-Square df P-value OR 95% CI
(Intercept) 12.209 175.616 1 <.001 200530.093 32960.302; 1220022.736
Dialysis duration
 3 years and more than 3 years 0.737 0.519 1 .471 2.089 0.282; 15.496
 Less than 3 years 0a 1
Gender
 Females −0.557 0.38 1 .538 0.573 0.097; 3.367
 Males 0a 1
Timelines
 Week 8 −3.036 31.833 1 <.001 0.048 0.017; 0.138
 Week 4 −2.821 27.602 1 <.001 0.06 0.021; 0.171
 Baseline 0a 1
Patients groups
 Control 2.57 6.331 1 .012 13.06 1.765; 96.655
 Intervention 0a 1
Interactions
 Week 8 Control −1.664 3.43 1 .064 0.189 0.033; 1.102
 Week 8 Intervention 0a 1
 Week 4 Control −1.779 3.823 1 .051 0.169 0.028; 1.004
 Week 4 Intervention 0a 1
 Baseline Control 0a 1
 Baseline Intervention 0a 1
(Scale) 15.516
Dependent Variable: PSQI; Generalized linear model was used based on GEE, using working correlation matrix AR(1). a Set to zero because this parameter is redundant. Significant; P < .05 was considered significant.

3.3 Assessment of secondary outcome:

3.3.1 Quality of life assessment at baseline and end point

Upon transforming the responses of participants of EQ-5D levels into “no problems” (i.e., level 1) and “problems” (i.e., levels 2 and 3), a paired-samples t test was conducted to compare the EQ5D index score and EQ-VAS at baseline and week 8 for both control group and intervention group (as shown in Table 7). The results revealed that the mean EQ5D index score in the control group improved from a baseline score of 0.49 ± 0.30 to 0.53 ± 0.30 at week 8; while in the intervention group there was no statistical improvement in mean EQ5D index score from 0.62 ± 0.26 to 0.62 ± 0.27 (as shown in Table 7). However, regarding the mean EQ-VAS scores, in the control group there was a statistically significant improvement from a baseline score of 50.17 ± 8.65 to 52.85 ± 11.50 at week 8; while in the intervention group there was a statistically significant improvement from a baseline score of 47.17 ± 5.82 to 50.50 ± 9.31 at week 8 (shown in Table 7). On average the EQ-VAS score was 2.67 points higher at week 8 as compared to baseline in the control group, while in the intervention group it was 3.33 points higher at week 8 as compared to baseline, as shown in Table 7.

Table 7 - EQ5D index score and VAS at baseline and week 8 for control and intervention group.
Control group Intervention group
Baseline (n = 28) Week 8 (n = 28) 95% CI P value Baseline (n = 30) Week 8 (n = 30) 95% CI P value
EQ5D index score
 Mean 0.49 0.53 −0.091; 0.019 .187 0.62 0.62 −0.019; 0.017 .911
 SD 0.3 0.3 0.26 0.27
EQ VAS
 Mean 50.17 52.85 −4.686; −0.670 .011 47.16 50.5 −5.253; −1.413 .001
 SD 8.65 11.5 5.82 9.31
Paired t-test; SD: standard deviation; P < .05 statistically significant.

3.4 Assessment of other outcomes

3.4.1 Assessment of adverse drug reaction of Zolpidem and acceptability of acupressure

To ensure the participants’ safety in the intervention group for zolpidem 10 mg orally, drowsiness, nausea, and daytime sleeping were tested using Naranjo scale, as shown in Table 8. Acupressure therapy was highly acceptable among participants in the control group, as assessed by the “Treatment Acceptability Questionnaire (TAQ)” as shown in Table 9.

Table 8 - Assessment for confirm adverse events for zolpidem (n = 30).
Adverse event Confirmed (N) Undecided (N) Adverse events assessment based on Naranjo's algorithm
Daytime drowsiness 1 Probable
Headache
Amnesia
Nausea 1 Possible

Table 9 - Individual scales of TAQ at week 6 of control group (n = 28).
Individual scales of TAQ Mean Std. Deviation
Acceptability 6.82 0.39
Efficacy 6.64 0.56
Side effects 1.00 0.00
Trust rank of the therapist 6.93 0.26
TAQ: treatment acceptability questionnaire.Acceptability: 1 = very unacceptable and 7 = very acceptable; Efficacy: 1 = “very ineffective” and 7 = “very effective”; Side effects: 1 = “very unlikely” and 7 = “very likely”; Trust rank of the therapist: 1 = “very untrustworthy” and 7 = “very trustworthy”.

4 Discussion

This interventional study was perhaps the novel of its kind to improve sleep quality among CKD-aP patients on hemodialysis by comparing both pharmacological (zolpidem) and nonpharmacological (acupressure) interventions for improvement in sleep at baseline, week 4 and week 8. In contrast, previous studies assessed the use of acupressure[24–30] and zolpidem[22,42] for the treatment of disturbed sleep among CKD patients on hemodialysis at one time. Sleep disturbance among CKD patients is often neglected by nephrologists, and no suitable option is available for the management of sleep disturbance, so CKD-aP contributes toward impaired quality of life among hemodialysis patients.

In our study, the assessment of patients in terms of the eligibility criteria for having CKD-aP was carried out by Urdu 5D itch scale. Overall, the degree and direction while in the disabilities sleep domain (mean = 3.74 ± 1.26) was mostly affected by CKD-aP, and the overall mean score for Urdu 5D itch scale was 10.88 ± 2.50. Similar findings were reported by a study done in Saudi Arabia on hemodialysis patients suffering from CKD-aP: duration, degree and direction while in disabilities sleep domain (mean = 3.30 ± 1.1) and leisure/social activities (mean = 2.90 ± 0.80) were affected by CKD-aP, and the overall mean score for pruritus was 19.1 ± 1.7.[43]

CKD-aP stimulates itching, and negatively affects sleep and quality of life.[44] The itches are usually worse at nighttime and cause sleep disturbance.[11,12,45–47] CKD-aP has been shown to be a cause of nocturnal awakenings and difficulty falling asleep.[47,48] Pruritus patients have a compromised quality of life that is generally linked to limited personal freedom and control due to lengthy treatment time; overall, loss of freedom has wider implications, altering marital, family, and social relationships.[49]

In our study, the PSQI scores were taken at baseline, week 4 and week 8; both groups showed a reduction in the PSQI score, which is indicative of improvement in sleep quality. In the control group there was a reduction with a mean ± SD from 12.28 ± 3.59 to 9.25 ± 3.99; while for the intervention group there was a reduction in the PSQI score with a mean ± SD from 14.73 ± 4.14 to 10.03 ± 3.89 from baseline to week 8. Our results are aligned with another study in which there was a significant improvement in sleep score among hemodialysis patients at single point assessment by using acupressure therapy.[24] A few studies have been done to study the effect of acupressure[24–30] and zolpidem[22,42] on sleep quality among hemodialysis patients, which showed improvement in sleep quality at a single point, but no study has been done among patients on hemodialysis suffering from sleep disturbance due to CKD-aP and at repeated time intervals, so we are unable to compare our results. Acupressure among hemodialysis patients led to an improvement in sleep.[33] Similarly, findings about the effectiveness of acupressure in hemodialysis patients reported by another study revealed improved sleep quality due to acupressure in both the control and intervention groups.[32] Acupressure results in a short-term improvement in sleep quality of hemodialysis patients and also brings comfort to patients, resulting in enhanced quality of life.[28] In our study findings, patients in the intervention group receiving zolpidem 10 mg tablets daily reported improvement in sleep quality, as reflected by improvement in PSQI score, but the PSQI score remained above 5. This is similar to a study done in Iran that revealed that zolpidem (10 mg for patients younger than 60 years and 5 mg for older participants) significantly improves sleep quality in hemodialysis patients, though the PSQI scores remain above 5.[22] Our study findings reveal that in comparison to baseline, the PSQI scores were significantly reduced after week 4 and week 8 (P = < .001). Furthermore, at the end of the study the PSQI scores were significantly higher in the control as compared to the intervention group (P = .012). The interaction between timeline and patients’ group (control and intervention) was not significantly different, but it can be observed that the PSQI scores reduce in both patients’ groups.

In terms of quality of life improvement, our study findings reveal that the mean EQ5D index score in the control group improved from 0.49 ± 0.30 to 0.53 ± 0.30 at week 8; while in the intervention group there was no statistical improvement in mean EQ5D index score from 0.62 ± 0.26 to 0.62 ± 0.27. However, for the mean EQ-VAS score in the control group there was a statistically significant improvement from baseline score of 50.17 ± 8.65 to 52.85 ± 11.50 at week 8; while in the intervention group there was a statistically significant improvement from baseline score of 47.17 ± 5.82 to 50.50 ± 9.31 at week 8. On average, the EQ-VAS score was 2.67 points higher at week 8 as compared to baseline in the control group, while in the intervention group the score was 3.33 points higher at week 8 as compared to baseline.

In our study, acupressure was well tolerated and was highly acceptable, while 2 patients complained of side effects of zolpidem: daytime drowsiness and nausea, respectively. In the aforementioned study done in Iran looking at zolpidem to improve sleep quality in hemodialysis patients, none of the patients complained of any particular side effects.[22]

The age of patients recruited in both groups was not uniform which acted as a limitation on that part of the study; the patients were randomized 1:1 in both the control and intervention groups; also, some patients were receiving dialysis twice weekly and some were receiving thrice weekly. Furthermore, the pruritus score (Urdu 5D-IS) and PSQI was not of uniform but the score of CKD-aP of all patients was higher and was in the range of 5-25 which showed CKD-aP and for sleep disturbance the score was also in the range of 5-21 which confirm sleep disturbance.

5 Conclusion

Overall, improvement in sleep quality among CKD-aP patients on hemodialysis has been observed in both the control and intervention groups. An improvement in sleep quality and quality of life among CKD-aP patients on hemodialysis has been observed in both the control and intervention groups. Zolpidem and acupressure safety profiling showed no severe adverse effect other that drowsiness, nausea and daytime sleeping already reported in literature of zolpidem. Clinicians should consider providing acupressure therapy as an alternative method to improve the quality of sleep among CKD-aP patients on hemodialysis.

6 Strength and limitations

The strength of the study is that it is first trial that has been done to compare pharmacological and nonpharmacological intervention to improve sleep quality and quality of life among hemodialysis patient having CKD-aP. The limitation of study is that age of patients recruited in both groups was not uniform which acted as a limitation on that part of the study; the patients were randomized 1:1 in both the control and intervention groups.

Author contributions

Conceptualization: Inayat ur Rehman, Learn Han Lee, Tahir Mehmood Khan.

Data curation: Inayat ur Rehman, Raheel Ahmed, Aziz Ur Rahman, Syed Munib.

Formal analysis: Inayat ur Rehman, David Bin-Chia Wu, Ateeq Ur Rehman.

Funding acquisition: Inayat ur Rehman, Kok Gan Chan.

Investigation: Inayat ur Rehman, Nisar Ahmad Khan, Tahir Mehmood Khan.

Methodology: Inayat ur Rehman, Raheel Ahmed, Ateeq Ur Rehman, Learn Han Lee, Tahir Mehmood Khan.

Project administration: Inayat ur Rehman, Ateeq Ur Rehman, Learn Han Lee, Kok Gan Chan, Tahir Mehmood Khan.

Resources: Inayat ur Rehman.

Software: Inayat ur Rehman.

Supervision: Aziz Ur Rahman, Nisar Ahmad Khan, Learn Han Lee, Tahir Mehmood Khan.

Validation: Inayat ur Rehman.

Visualization: Inayat ur Rehman, Syed Munib.

Writing – original draft: Inayat ur Rehman, Yasar Shah.

Writing – review & editing: David Bin-Chia Wu, Learn Han Lee, Kok Gan Chan, Tahir Mehmood Khan.

Correction

When originally published, Peshawar was removed from affiliation c and has since been corrected.

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Keywords:

CKD-associated pruritus; acupressure; zolpidem; hemodialysis; interventional study; quality of life; EQ5D-3L; PSQI; Urdu 5D-itch scale

Copyright © 2021 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.