Auricular acupuncture to relieve health care workers' stress and anxiety: impact on caring.

Author: Reilly PM1, Buchanan TM, Vafides C, Breakey S, Dykes P.
1Patricia M. Reilly, MSN, RN, is the director of Caring and Healing Modalities at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. She has held a variety of leadership positions in critical care nursing and perioperative nursing. Her current interests lie in developing a caring healing environment for both patients and staff. Teresa M. Buchanan, MBA, RN, is a nursing project manager, has held a variety of educational, managerial, leadership, and consultant positions, with a particular focus on program development and project management in health care settings. She is currently supporting the Integrative Care Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Carol Vafides, MAc, Lic Ac, received her diplomate of acupuncture and master's degree in acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture. She studied medical Qi Gong and other nonneedle healing therapies at the Oriental Culture Institute of Boston. Her professional philosophy includes a belief that healing occurs when the body is in rhythm with the mind promoting good health. She has been in private practice since 1994. Suellen Breakey, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Her clinical background is in critical care nursing. Patricia Dykes, PhD, RN, is senior nurse scientist and program director for research in the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice and the Center for Nursing Excellence at Brigham and Women's Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr Dykes is the author of 2 books and more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and has presented her work nationally and internationally. She is a member of the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American College of Medical Informatics.
Conference/Journal: Dimens Crit Care Nurs.
Date published: 2014 May-Jun
Other: Volume ID: 33 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 151-9 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/DCC.0000000000000039 , Word Count: 173

The caring relationship between individual health care providers and patients is a critical component of healing. However, caring can result in physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual symptoms in providers that can interfere with their capacity to enter into these relationships.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether auricular acupuncture is an effective tool for reducing health care provider stress and anxiety and, second, to determine if auricular acupuncture impacts provider capacity for developing caring relationships with patients.
Preintervention and postintervention surveys were evaluated to see if auricular acupuncture was associated with changes in State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Professional Quality of Life, and Caring Ability Inventory scores.
Compared with baseline, participants had a significant reduction in state anxiety (STAI), trait anxiety (STAI), burnout, and secondary traumatic stress scores (Professional Quality of Life). Significant increases were noted in courage and patience, 2 dimensions of the Caring Ability Inventory.
Auricular acupuncture is an effective intervention for the relief of stress/anxiety in providers and supports heightened capacity for caring.
PMID: 24704740