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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2003 Mar;9(3):124-30.

A pilot study into the use of a multisensory environment (Snoezelen) within a palliative day-care setting.

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University of Sheffield, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.

Erratum in

  • Int J Palliat Nurs. 2003 Apr;9(4):178.


Sensory environments may potentially provide an atmosphere of calm and refreshment. This small pilot study used a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design and semi-structured interviews to investigate the use of the Snoezelen multisensory environment in palliative day care. Its second aim was to explore the feasibility of the RCT design in advance of a possible larger trial. The study compared Snoezelen with a normal 'quiet room' setting. Following screening for anxiety, 26 patients were recruited and randomly assigned to the control of experimental group. Anxiety and depression were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale and quality of life assessed using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core 30 questionnaire. A significant reduction in anxiety was seen with the experimental group (P=0.01) but no changes were observed in any of the quality-of-life subscales. However, the results should be viewed with caution, as there were some differences between the groups in two of the quality-of-life subscales. Data from semi-structured interviews suggested Snoezelen might promote relaxation. It is concluded that Snoezelen is feasible for use with this patient group and recommendations are made for further research.

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