The following case study will look at the efficacy of aromatherapy massage in a patient diagnosed with Guillian Barré Syndrome admitted to an IntensiveTherapy Unit. The pathophysiology of this disorder will be discussed, medical treatment will be outlined and adjuncts to conventional nursing care will be presented. Aromatherapy massage was used to complement the conventional nursing and medical treatment of joint pain and constipation. The Mead Model for nursing care was used for assessment and the plan of care devised from this. Evaluation of outcomes were incorporated into the implementation protocol to ensure positive outcomes were achieved.
"Four individual case reports have also appeared since 1999, where abdominal massage effectively decreased constipation. These individuals were a 64 year-old woman with myelopathy (HAM/TSP, a spinal cord inflammation with effects similar to those of a traumatic spinal cord injury), an 8-year-old boy with lifelong constipation, a severely constipated female patient in her mid-eighties with abdominal muscle weakness, and a 31-year-old male in the acute phase of Guillan-Barre syndrome (Liu et al., 2005; Quist, 2007; Harrington and Haskvitz, 2006, and Shirreffs, 2001) (footnote: Acute Guillain-Barre presents with polyneuritis , which leads to weakness of the muscles of the digestive tract, sluggish contractions and constipation). There were many variations in the observational studies and case reports, such as the specific massage technique, how it was applied, and for how long. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Constipation is a disorder of gastrointestinal motility characterized by difficult or decreased bowel movements, and is a common condition in Western countries. Laxatives are the most common strategy for managing constipation. However, long-term use of some laxatives may be associated with harmful side-effects including increased constipation and fecal impaction. Abdominal massage, once an accepted method of treating constipation, is no longer standard of care, but may be a desirable therapy for this condition because it is inexpensive, non-invasive, free of harmful side-effects, and can be performed by patients themselves. However, until recently, evidence for its effectiveness was not strong enough to make a recommendation for its use in constipated patients. In 1999, Ernst reviewed all available controlled clinical trials, and found that there was no sound evidence for the effectiveness of abdominal massage in the treatment of chronic constipation. This article reviews scientific evidence from 1999 to the present, regarding abdominal massage as an intervention for chronic constipation. Since that time, studies have demonstrated that abdominal massage can stimulate peristalsis, decrease colonic transit time, increase the frequency of bowel movements in constipated patients, and decrease the feelings of discomfort and pain that accompany it. There is also good evidence that massage can stimulate peristalsis in patients with post-surgical ileus. Individual case reports show that massage has been effective for patients with constipation due to a variety of diagnosed physiologic abnormalities, as well as in patients with long-term functional constipation.
Journal of bodywork and movement therapies 10/2011; 15(4):436-45. DOI:10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.07.007
"While there are numerous case studies presented in the literature involving the use of essential oils to treat various medical conditions, these alone are insufficient to guide evidence-based practice. The potential again seems to be in reduction of stress, especially in chronic conditions such fibromyalgia, Guillain-Barré syndrome and AIDS (Wilson 1989, Styles 1997, Buckle 1998, Grace 2001, Shirreffs 2001). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of aromatherapy in nursing care continues to be popular in many settings. Most of the nursing literature relates to the use of essential oils in low doses for massage or use of the oils as environmental fragrances. Information from the wider literature may add to the evidence base for use of this therapy in nursing.
This paper reports a literature relating to the use of aromatherapy by nurses and critically evaluates the evidence to support this practice.
Medline, CINAHL, MANTIS and EBSCO Host databases were searched for papers related to use of essential oils and/or aromatherapy. Papers were also obtained through cross-checking of reference lists. A total of 165 articles have been included in this review. Nursing papers were published since 1990 were included, but some references from 1971 onwards relating to scientific research conducted on essential oils were also included. These remain valuable as they are probably the only reference available for a specific oil or property, or show the development of knowledge in this area. Papers were excluded if they consisted only of brief case studies presented in abstract form. The review covers key professional issues and the principal areas of clinical practice where aromatherapy is used.
Despite calls for more research in the 1980s and 1990s, there is still little empirical evidence to support the use of aromatherapy in nursing practice beyond enhancing relaxation. Its popularity needs to be balanced against the potential risks related to allergies, safety and inappropriate use by inexperienced users.
There is great potential for more collaborative research by nurses to explore the clinical applications in greater detail and to move beyond the low dose paradigm of application of essential oils.
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