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scientific articles

A randomized controlled pilot study feasibility of a tablet-based guided audio-visual relaxation intervention for reducing stress and pain in adults with sickle cell disease

key information

source: Journal of advanced nursing

year: 2016

authors: Ezenwa MO, Yao Y, Engeland CG, Molokie RE, Wang ZJ, Suarez ML, Wilkie DJ


To test feasibility of a guided audio-visual relaxation intervention protocol for reducing stress and pain in adults with sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell pain is inadequately controlled using opioids, necessitating further intervention such as guided relaxation to reduce stress and pain.
Attention-control, randomized clinical feasibility pilot study with repeated measures.
Randomized to guided relaxation or control groups, all patients recruited between 2013-2014 during clinical visits, completed stress and pain measures via a Galaxy Internet-enabled Android tablet at the Baseline visit (pre/post intervention), 2-week posttest visit and also daily at home between the two visits. Experimental group patients were asked to use a guided relaxation intervention at the Baseline visit and at least once daily for 2 weeks. Control group patients engaged in a recorded sickle cell discussion at the Baseline visit. Data were analysed using linear regression with bootstrapping.
At baseline, 27/28 of consented patients completed the study protocol. Group comparison showed that guided relaxation significantly reduced current stress and pain. At the 2-week posttest, 24/27 of patients completed the study, all of whom reported liking the study. Patients completed tablet-based measures on 71% of study days (69% in control group, 72% in experiment group). At the 2-week posttest, the experimental group had significantly lower composite pain index scores, but the two groups did not differ significantly on stress intensity.
This study protocol appears feasible. The tablet-based guided relaxation intervention shows promise for reducing sickle cell pain and warrants a larger efficacy trial.

organization: University of Illinois at Chicago; Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center; The Pennsylvania State University; Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago

DOI: 10.1111/jan.12895

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