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Appl Nurs Res. 1994 Feb;7(1):2-6.

Measures of salivary secretory immunoglobulin A and state anxiety after a nursing back rub.

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MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA 02114.


This study examined the effects of a 10-minute nursing back rub on salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) and state anxiety in well older adult subjects. A control group (n = 14) received no intervention, and an experimental group (n = 18) received a slow stroke effleurage back rub. All subjects initially completed the state portion of the Spielberger State/Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and provided a timed, nonstimulated saliva sample. Control subjects lay positioned in bed for 10 minutes, and experimental subjects received the back rub. Both groups then provided a second saliva sample and completed the STAI again. Anxiety scores decreased for both groups, but not significantly, and s-IgA concentration increased in the experimental group. This study provides rationale for further research into the holistic benefits of the nursing back rub and should encourage nurses to continue to provide caring touch interventions to patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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