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Abbott Northwestern study shows non-drug techniques reduce pain in hospitalized patients

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[Allina Newsroom, March 05, 2010] Non-traditional therapies relieve pain among a wide range of hospitalized patients as much as 50 percent, according to a first-of-a-kind study in the Journal of Patient Safety. "Roughly 80 percent of patients report moderate to severe pain levels after surgery," says Gregory Plotnikoff, M.D., one of the study’s authors and medical director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. "We struggle to provide effective pain control while trying to avoid the adverse effects of opioid medications, such as respiratory depression, nausea, constipation, dizziness and falls." The study included 1,837 cardiovascular, medical, surgical, orthopedics, spine, rehabilitation, oncology, and women’s health patients at Abbott Northwestern. The treatments included non-pharmaceutical services: mind body therapies to elicit the relaxation response, acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy, healing touch, music therapy, aromatherapy, and reflexology.

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