Saturday, March 6, 2010

Massage and other non-drug techniques helps hospitalized patients with pain

Results of a new study show that massage and other non-drug techniques helped patients in the hospital with pain relief. Massage, mind-body therapies, acupuncture, acupressure, healing touch, music therapy, aromatherapy, and reflexology were found to reduce pain as much as fifty percent among patients hospitalized at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in a study conducted between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009.

Gregory Plotnikoff, M.D., one of the study’s authors and medical director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital says, "Roughly 80 percent of patients report moderate to severe pain levels after surgery. We struggle to provide effective pain control while trying to avoid the adverse effects of opioid medications, such as respiratory depression, nausea, constipation, dizziness and falls."

Using a varied approach of integrative medicine techniques was found to reduce pain among cardiovascular, medical, surgical, orthopedic, spine, rehabilitation, and cancer patients.

"Earlier studies narrowly focused on whether specific integrative therapies manage pain in either cancer or surgical patients," says Jeffery A. Dusek, Ph.D., research director for the George Institute. Our real-world study broadly shows that these therapies effectively reduce pain by over 50 percent across numerous patient populations. Furthermore, they can be clinically implemented in real time, across, and under the operational and financial constraints within an acute care hospital."

The integrative pain management program at Abbot Northwestern Hospital is free of charge to patients and delivered by a staff of six registered nurses, board-certified in their specialty area that includes oncology and cardiovascular, holistic nursing. The staff also includes six licensed Asian medicine practitioners; eight certified massage therapists, with an emphasis on acute care massage, and one certified music therapist.

Lori Knutson, RN, BSN, HN-BC, executive director of the George Institute says using non-drug techniques that combine a variety of integrative medicine approaches could ultimately reduce healthcare costs for hospitalized patients. Massage, mind body therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, music therapy and healing touch for pain reduction have no side effects compared to drugs, and could also improve patient satisfaction in the hospital setting.

Allina Hospitals and Clinics