Touch & Guided Imagery Reduce Pain & Anxiety after Total Joint Replacement

Researchers from Saint Clare Health Systems in Dover, New Jersey investigated the effectiveness of the "M" Technique of structured touch (M), compared with guided imagery and usual care, for the reduction of pain and anxiety in patients undergoing elective total knee or hip replacement surgery.

"M" is a registered method of structured touch using a set sequence and number of strokes, and a consistent level of pressure on hands and feet,

The randomized, controlled trial was conducted at a community hospital, with 225 male and female patients, aged 38 to 90 years, undergoing elective total hip or knee replacement. Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups (75 patients in each): the M structured touch group, the guided imagery group, or treatment as usual.

Outcomes measured were the reduction of pain and anxiety post surgery. Secondary outcomes measured were the amount of pain medication used and a patient satisfaction evaluation.

The study yielded positive findings for the management of pain and anxiety in patients undergoing elective joint replacement in the groups that used M structured touch and guided imagery for 18 to 20 minutes, as compared with usual care.

M showed the largest decreases in both pain and anxiety between groups. There was no significant difference in narcotic pain medication use between groups.

Patient satisfaction survey ratings were highest for M, followed by guided imagery.

Citation: Forward JB1, Greuter NE2, Crisall SJ3, Lester HF4. Effect of Structured Touch and Guided Imagery for Pain and Anxiety in Elective Joint Replacement Patients-A Randomized Controlled Trial: M-TIJRP. Permanente Journal . 2015 Jul 24;19(4). doi: 10.7812/TPP/14-236. [email protected] [Epub ahead of print]

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