Clinical Massage, Guided Imagery for Pain, Anxiety

HealthDay News — For patients in a progressive care unit, clinical massage and guided imagery can reduce pain and anxiety, according to a study published in Critical Care Nurse.1

Gail Elliott Patricolo, from Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Michigan, and colleagues examined whether clinical massage or guided imagery could reduce pain and anxiety and improve sleep among patients in the progressive care unit. Two hundred eighty-eight inpatients from 2 floors of a progressive care unit were recruited. Patients were offered a 15-minute clinical massage daily on 1 floor, while on the other floor, patients were provided access to a guided imagery recording. Pain and anxiety levels were rated immediately before and after the massage intervention, and patients were asked whether the guided imagery intervention was beneficial.

The researchers observed an immediate and significant reduction in self-reported pain and anxiety with the massage intervention. A significant number of patients reported that the guided imagery intervention was beneficial for relieving pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

“The results of this study indicate that clinical massage and guided imagery can benefit patients in the progressive care unit,” the authors write.

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  1. Patricolo GE, Lavoie A, Slavin B, Richards NL, Jagow D, Armstrong K. Beneficial Effects of Guided Imagery or Clinical Massage on the Status of Patients in a Progressive Care Unit. Crit Care Nurse. 2017;37(1):62-69.