Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 225–232 | Cite as

Effectiveness of Auricular Acupressure for Acute Postoperative Pain after Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Qin Zhong
  • Di Wang
  • Ya-mei BaiEmail author
  • Shi-zheng Du
  • Yu-lei Song
  • Jing Zhu
Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine



To identify the effectiveness of auricular acupressure (AA) in patients with acute postoperative pain after surgery by systematic review.


A search of randomized controlled trials was conducted in 5 English medical electronic databases and 4 Chinese databases. Two reviewers independently retrieved related studies, assessed the methodological quality, and extracted data with a standardized data form. Meta-analyses were performed using all time-points meta-analysis.


A total of 26 studies with 1,682 participants were included. Results showed that compared with conventional therapy, AA significantly improved the total effective rate [risk ratio=1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.13 to 1.37, Plt;0.0001; heterogeneity: Plt;0.0001, I2=85%]. In the subgroup analysis, the results changed in different follow-up time and surgery categories. The pain relief in the AA group might be the most significant at 72 h after surgery (mean difference=–0.85, 95% CI,–1.20 to–0.50, Plt;0.0001) and in abdominal surgery (mean difference=–1.15, 95% CI,–1.41 to–0.90, Plt;0.0001). Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the results of this meta-analysis were stable. No serious adverse effects were recorded.


It was recommended to provide AA to patients with acute postoperative pain. However, a more accurate estimate of the effect requires further rigorously designed large-scale and high-quality RCTs for improving acute postoperative pain after surgery.


auricular acupressure acute postoperative pain systematic review meta-analysis 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qin Zhong
    • 1
  • Di Wang
    • 1
  • Ya-mei Bai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shi-zheng Du
    • 1
  • Yu-lei Song
    • 1
  • Jing Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of NursingNanjing University of Traditional Chinese MedicineNanjingChina

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