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Complementary alternative therapy methods used in persons receiving palliative care to alleviate pain: a literature review
Sophiahemmet University.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Palliative care aims for the relief of suffering, pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. Pain is the suffering that encompasses all of a person’s physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and practical struggles. Nursing aims at promoting health and caring for the sick. Evidence based practice incorporates the use of the most relevant evidence coming from nurses and health care professionals, used on patient care decisions. Complementary alternative therapy integration to nursing has been linked to nursing competency and promotion of patient advocacy. Complementary alternative therapy methods have also been used in the reduction of pain, however, more initiatives, research and integration are needed.

The purpose of this study was to describe practices from complementary alternative therapy methods used in persons receiving palliative care to alleviate pain. Focusing on acupuncture, hypnosis and massage therapies.

A literature review of sixteen articles was carried out. Articles which met the inclusion criteria and were relevant to the literature review’s aim were retrieved from CINAHL and PubMed databases. Fourteen articles were retrieved from the databases and two articles were found using a manual search. A systematic process of reviewing each article, thoroughly examining them as to analyze the method and results was undertaken.

Results were categorized in relation to pain effectives of complementary alternative therapies namely acupuncture hypnosis and massage. During acupuncture oncological pain, lumbar pain and chronic postoperative pain was reduced and an improvement in the control of the symptoms was observed, however, the reduction was transient. Post hypnotically there was significant pain reduction for diverse kinds of pain and patient groups. Such pain reduction had a lasting effect over time. Hypnosis treatment and medication interaction was not significant. Massage showed sizeable degree improvement across different pain levels, low, moderate, high, for a diverse group of patients of different age groups with greater pain intensity decrease to patients with cancer and chronic pain. The effects of massage on pain were sustained for a few hours.

In conclusion in relation to acupuncture there seems to have been some pain reduction, however, transient. Hypnosis in most cases has showed long lasting pain reduction results up to the point of analgesia for diverse kinds of pain and patient groups. Massage seemed to have had immediate pain reduction effects but mediocrely lasting. Results are promising, however, current literature is scarce. Further research alongside with implementation of current and future evidence into proper practice is suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 29 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:shh:diva-2467OAI: diva2:1044492
Educational program
Master of Science in Nursing : Palliative Care
Available from: 2016-11-09 Created: 2016-11-03 Last updated: 2016-11-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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