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Journal of Integrative Nursing ›› 2019, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (2): 107-114.doi: 10.35437/intnur.issn.2663-4481.2019.01.02.07

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Effect of Acupoint Massage on Cognitive Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

You-Hua LIU, Luo YANG, Shao-Hua GONG, Xiao-Ping YI, Hong GUO   

  1. School of Nursing, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100013, China
  • Received:2019-06-25 Revised:2019-07-10 Accepted:2019-08-22 Online:2019-08-27 Published:2019-08-27
  • Contact: Hong GUO, Associate professor, Clinical Nursing Department, School of Nursing, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100013, China E-mail:


Objective: To evaluate the clinical effect of acupoint massage in improving cognitive function, in order to provide a relatively comprehensive reference for dementia prevention and control.

Methods: Clinical trial studies on the improvement of cognitive function by acupoint massage were systematically collected from multiple Chinese and foreign databases, consisting of CNKI, VIP, Wanfang, PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and CINAHL. According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the two researchers independently screened the literature, extracted the data, evaluated the quality of the included articles and cross-checked, and then carried out a meta-analysis with the RevMan 5 software.

Results: A total of 10 studies were included, and the cumulative total sample size was 818. The results of meta-analysis showed that the improvement of cognitive function in acupoint massage group was significantly better than that in control group. Compared with the control group, acupoint massage significantly increased the total score of mini-mental state examination (MMSE) scale for the elderly [SMD=0.80, 95% CI (0.53, 1.07), P<0.0001]), and significantly improved the picture memory ability [SMD=-3.69, 95% CI (-5.08, 2.30), P<0.0001], associative memory ability [SMD=0.24, 95% CI (-0.73, 1.20), P<0.0001]), understanding and memory ability [SMD=1.33, 95% CI (0.58, 2.09), P<0.0001]), instantaneous memory ability [SMD=1.70, 95% CI (0.77, 2.62), P<0.01]) of the elderly.

Conclusion: Acupoint massage can improve the cognitive function of the elderly and reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) in the elderly. More large samples, multicenter and high quality randomized controlled trials are needed to verify the intervention effect of acupoint massage on cognitive impairment.

Key words: Acupoint massage, Cognitive dysfunction, Systematic review, Meta-analysis