A Canadian Experience of Integrating Complementary Therapy in a Hospital Palliative Care Unit.

Author: Berger L, Tavares M, Berger B.
1 University of Queensland School of Medicine , Brisbane, Australia .
Conference/Journal: J Palliat Med.
Date published: 2013 Sep 10
Other: Word Count: 166

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 Touch™ 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