Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wrist Bands Can Ease Cancer Nausea, Especially For Patients Who Expect Them To Work

Date:
August 29, 2003
Source:
University Of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Cancer patients who expected acupressure wrist bands to ease the nausea they have from chemotherapy were much more likely to gain relief than either patients who were not given the bands or those who received them but didn't expect them to help.

Cancer patients who expected acupressure wrist bands to ease the nausea they have from chemotherapy were much more likely to gain relief than either patients who were not given the bands or those who received them but didn't expect them to help.

That's the word from researchers at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, who carried out the largest scientific study yet of two products that some believe can reduce nausea. The results, which researchers say point to the power of the placebo effect, were published in the August issue of Pain and Symptom Management.

Scientists at the cancer center at the University of Rochester Medical Center compared the response in 700 cancer patients who received either two acupressure bands, an acustimulation band, or no band. Both the pressure and the stimulation bands are worn on the wrist, and several studies have shown them to be helpful in reducing nausea from seasickness, motion sickness, and morning sickness from pregnancy. The pressure band applies steady pressure to an acupuncture point on the inside of the wrist; the acustimulation band gives a mild electrical pulse to the same point. Such bands are sold at some drugstores but are not widely used in medicine.

Participants in the study wore the bands on the day of their chemotherapy treatment and the following four days. About 85 percent of the study participants were women being treated for breast cancer; most of the others had lymphoma or Hodgkin's disease.

Overall, acupressure patients reported 15 percent less nausea on the day of treatment, compared to patients who wore no band. Acupressure patients had roughly the same amount of nausea and vomiting as the others in the days following treatment.

When scientists analyzed the results more closely, they found that the acupressure bands were more helpful to patients who expected the device to ease their nausea. Patients who expected the bands to help rated their nausea 25 percent less severe than other patients on the day of treatment and approximately 13 percent less severe on subsequent days. They also reported having a higher quality of life on those days, and they used less anti-nausea medication. Acupressure patients who did not expect the bands to work did not show any benefit.

"A large number of patients who wore pressure bands found them to be quite helpful," says Joseph Roscoe, Ph.D., a research assistant professor and the leader of the study funded by the National Cancer Institute. "But we think that the effect of the pressure bands was primarily a placebo effect. It appeared that the bands themselves did little or nothing, just as a placebo pill does nothing by itself."

While there have been several studies noting positive anti-nausea results from pressure and stimulation bands, Roscoe had long wondered whether the effects could be due to the placebo effect – an improvement in a patient's condition from a treatment with no scientific basis for success.

"I think every physician understands that what your patient believes will happen is important. Most physicians try to set up as positive an expectancy as possible while still being realistic," says Roscoe. "It's good for the patient if you can make use of the placebo effect."

Among patients who received an acustimulation band, men but not women had less nausea on the day of treatment, and less nausea and vomiting overall. However, the study included a total of only 55 men, not enough to draw meaningful conclusions.

###

In addition to Roscoe, other authors from the Cancer Control Program of the Wilmot Cancer Center include Gary R. Morrow, Ph.D., Peter Bushunow, M.D., and Jane T. Hickok, M.D. The study was done through the Community Clinical Oncology Program, which specializes in improving the quality of life of people who have cancer by studying the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. The program is funded by the National Cancer Institute and is based at the university's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Wrist Bands Can Ease Cancer Nausea, Especially For Patients Who Expect Them To Work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030829071821.htm>.
University Of Rochester Medical Center. (2003, August 29). Wrist Bands Can Ease Cancer Nausea, Especially For Patients Who Expect Them To Work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030829071821.htm
University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Wrist Bands Can Ease Cancer Nausea, Especially For Patients Who Expect Them To Work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030829071821.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins