More than pills: alternative adjunct therapies to improve comfort in hospitalised patients.
BMJ Open Qual. 2019;8(2):e000506
Authors: Moore M, Schuler M, Wilson S, Whisenhunt M, Adams A, Leiker B, Butler T, Shankweiler C, Jones M, Gibson C
Discomfort in the hospitalised patient continues to be one of the healthcare system's greatest challenges to positive patient outcomes. The patients' ability to focus on healing is impaired by discomforts such as pain, nausea and anxiety. Alternative, non-pharmacological therapies have shown to be effective in reducing discomfort and managing pain, complementing analgesic agents and optimising pain therapy modalities. This multi-cycle project is aimed to assess the effect of alternative therapies on inpatient, progressive care patients who reported discomfort or little to no relief in discomfort from prescribed analgesics and adjuvant agents. In the first Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle, patients who reported discomfort were offered aromatherapy or visual relaxation DVDs. In the second PDSA cycle, patients were offered a comfort menu that consisted of multiple alternative interventions such as aromatherapy, ice or heat and ambulation. During each cycle, participants completed a survey measuring comfort levels before and after patient-selected alternative intervention(s) were administered. In the first PDSA cycle, 88% of patients reported an increase in comfort level after the intervention, and 97% reported an interest in using alternative therapy again. In the second PDSA cycle, 47% reported increased comfort, and 89% indicated a willingness to try alternative therapies again for improvement of comfort level. Overall, the quality improvement project increased the level of comfort reported by hospitalised patients, creating a gateway to comfort with less emphasis on prescribed analgesic medications.
PMID: 31206057 [PubMed]