Most postoperative patients have unrelieved pain despite the use of patient-controlled analgesia. Nurses need additional effective modalities. Relaxation and music (RM), in addition to analgesics, have been shown to reduce pain more than do analgesics alone.Objectives:
The objectives of the study were to test an intervention of patient teaching for pain management (PT) and compare it with RM for immediate and general effects on postoperative pain.Methods:
Patients having abdominal surgery and receiving patient-controlled analgesia aged 18-75 years (n = 517) were randomized to four groups: PT, RM, a combination (PTRM), and a control. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used to assess PT-Effects and RM-Effects. Immediate effects on pain were measured on visual analogue sensation and distress scales before and after five 20-min tests in the first 2 days. Because participants also listened independently, general nonimmediate effects were examined at eight other times.Results:
Using multivariate analysis of covariance with contrasts and pretest control, immediate RM-Effects on pain were found at Day 1 a.m. (p < .001), Day 1 p.m. (p = .04), and Day 2 a.m. (p = .04). No PT-Effects or nonimmediate RM-Effects were found.Discussion:
Patient teaching did not result in less pain and did not support the theoretical proposition that PT reduces pain. However, the immediate RM-Effects supported the proposition that nonpharmacological adjuvants to analgesics can ease pain without adding side effects.