Purpose: Bell’s palsy is a nerve paralysis disease that causes functional impairments and affects psychological and aesthetical parts. This study aimed to examine whether acupressure massage had positive effects on facial paralysis, subjective symptoms, and depression in Bell’s palsy patients. Methods: This study was conducted by a nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design. Participants were 60 patients with Bell’s palsy. 30 patients were assigned to the experimental group and the remaining 30 patients were assigned to the control group. The period of the study was from October 1, 2008 to July 30, 2009. Acupressure massage was offered to the experimental group for 20 minutes per day for two weeks (a total of six times). A SPSS/Win 12.0 program was used for data analysis. Results: A difference in Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging (DITI) between affected and unaffected sides was less in the experimental group having acupressure massage than in the control group and the score of the recovery of facial paralysis was also increased in the experimental group. The Facial Nerve Grade Systems by Brackmann score that is a more objective index showed a significant difference between two groups (F=26.81, p<.001). Subjective symptom and depression scores were more decreased in the acupressure massage group than in the control group. Conclusion: Based on the results, it is considered that acupressure massage can be applied to Bell’s palsy patients as an alternative therapy. It can be used as an evidence-based East-West nursing intervention to improve patients’ physical and mental functions.
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