Lai, T.K., Cheung, M.C., Lo, C.K., Ng, K.L., Fung, Y.H., Tong, M., & Yau, C.C. (2011). Effectiveness of aroma massage on advanced cancer patients with constipation: A pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 17, 37–43.doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.02.004
To evaluate the effectiveness of aroma massage in the treatment of constipation, as well as its impact on quality of life (QOL).
Patients were randomized to one of three groups: aroma abdominal massage, plain abdominal massage, or control. Fifteen- to 20-minute massages were offered daily for five consecutive days by the principal investigator and four other trained investigators. Patients completed questionnaires on days 1 and 5. Patients were withdrawn from the study if they required increased use of laxatives, had symptoms such as shortness of breath or fatigue, or were transferred or discharged from the hospital.
This was a randomized controlled trial.
Constipation is a common, preventable problem in patients with cancer. Nurses should have knowledge of alternative nonpharmacologic approaches to help patients manage this side effect.
Nurses play a vital role in the treatment and prevention of constipation.