Auricular acupressure and auricular acupuncture as an adjunc
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This randomized, double-blinded, three-arm trial enrolled patients undergoing an aspiration procedure for an induced abortion, a miscarriage, or other abnormal intrauterine pregnancy. Trial participants received auricular acupressure, auricular acupuncture, or placebo immediately prior to their procedures. The study began with 1:1:1 randomization, but later overenrolled into the acupressure group after providing retraining for greater fidelity to that intervention. All participants received ibuprofen and a paracervical block. Participants reported pain and anxiety levels via visual analog scores (0-100). Our analysis compared pain scores of those receiving acupressure versus placebo, and those receiving acupuncture versus placebo.

Researchers randomized 177 participants over nine months and excluded data from four participants. We analyzed data from 70 participants who received acupressure, 51 who received acupuncture, and 52 who received placebo. The groups had similar baseline characteristics, including baseline pain and anxiety scores. For acupressure, acupuncture, and placebo groups, respectively, immediate post-procedure median pain scores were 50, 55, 47.5 (p=0.88); maximum pain scores during the procedure were 77, 79, 79.5 (p=0.96); post-procedure anxiety scores were 26, 28, and 21 (p=0.47). The acupressure group results were similar before and after retraining.

Receiving auricular acupressure or acupuncture did not result in lower pain or anxiety scores among women undergoing vacuum aspiration compared to a placebo group.

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