A Systematic Review on Relaxation Techniques for Alleviating Acute Pain
Relaxation techniques have increasingly been used as a form of pain relieving intervention. Studies have been conducted in order to test the effects of relaxation on pain alleviation. This systematic review aimed to summarize and determine the best available evidence related to acute pain management by using relaxation techniques among adult persons. The specific review questions addressed in this review included types of relaxation technique and its effects on acute pain. The search strategy aimed to find both published and unpublished studies in Thai and English, manual search from libraries and electronic search using databases were conducted and limited to 1993 to 2003. Six randomized controlled trials and nine quasiexperimental studies regarding the effects of relaxation techniques on acute pain among adult patients were appraised and recruited. The Study Appraisal Tool and the Data Extracted Tool were used. Data extraction was cross-checked by the reviewer and an expert, and then analyzed by using the Review Manager Version 4.2 program proposed by the Cochrane Collaboration and narrative summarization.
The results of this systematic review revealed seven types of relaxation techniques that were tested by the researchers. Relaxation techniques included breathing exercise, meditation, jaw relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, quick relaxation, and a combined relaxation technique. Regarding the effectiveness of the relaxation techniques, the results showed variation in using tools for measuring pain among the studies including pain rating scale, face pain scale, colors pain scale, vital signs, and analgesic use. Most types of relaxation technique except jaw relaxation and quick relaxation could reduce acute pain. The effectiveness of relaxation techniques on reducing analgesic use was not found from this systematic review.This systematic review recommends that nurses can select seven types of relaxation technique to be used as a complementary nursing intervention for relieving acute pain among adult persons. Nurses should not use relaxation to substitute the use of analgesics. Replication of the study for each type of relaxation technique as well as study with larger sample size are recommended.
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Journal Name ISSN 1513/1262
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