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J Palliat Med. 2013 Oct;16(10):1294-8. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2013.0295. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

A Canadian experience of integrating complementary therapy in a hospital palliative care unit.

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1
1 University of Queensland School of Medicine , Brisbane, Australia .

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The provision of complementary therapy in palliative care is rare in Canadian hospitals. An Ontario hospital's palliative care unit developed a complementary therapy pilot project within the interdisciplinary team to explore potential benefits. Massage, aromatherapy, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touchâ„¢ were provided in an integrated approach. This paper reports on the pilot project, the results of which may encourage its replication in other palliative care programs.

OBJECTIVES:

The intentions were (1) to increase patients'/families' experience of quality and satisfaction with end-of-life care and (2) to determine whether the therapies could enhance symptom management.

RESULTS:

Data analysis (n=31) showed a significant decrease in severity of pain, anxiety, low mood, restlessness, and discomfort (p<0.01, 95% confidence interval); significant increase in inner stillness/peace (p<0.01, 95% confidence interval); and convincing narratives on an increase in comfort. The evaluation by staff was positive and encouraged continuation of the program.

CONCLUSIONS:

An integrated complementary therapy program enhances regular symptom management, increases comfort, and is a valuable addition to interdisciplinary care.

PMID:
24020920
PMCID:
PMC3791042
DOI:
10.1089/jpm.2013.0295
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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