Children require less benzodiazepine to treat pain and anxiety after cardiac surgery when they receive two to three 30-minute sessions of massage therapy per week during their hospitalization, according to research presented at Cardiology 2016.
Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center randomly assigned 60 pediatric cardiac surgery patients aged 6 to 19 years to massage therapy or to standard care with the addition of three 30-minute reading visits for the duration of their hospital stay. Patients were categorized by age, sex and risk adjustment for congenital heart surgery (RACHS-1) score. The primary endpoints were total exposure of opioid and benzodiazepine and as-needed doses of each during the first 5 days after surgery.
The researchers found no significant differences between study groups based on age, sex, RACHS-1 scores, length of mechanical ventilation and days in intensive care, according to the abstract. However, patients who received massage therapy required less benzodiazepine than patients who received standard care and reading visits (0.005 mg/kg vs. 0.03 mg/kg; P = .03). The number of as-needed doses of benzodiazepine was also lower in the massage therapy group (one dose vs. two doses; P = .05). The amount of opioid medication given in both groups was not significantly different, according to the findings
“The addition of 30-minute sessions of [massage therapy] to opioid and benzodiazepine administration to treat pain and anxiety in the early period following pediatric cardiac surgery was associated with reduced benzodiazepine exposure compared to children receiving standard of care plus three reading sessions,” the researchers wrote in the abstract. – by Tracey Romero
Staveski SL, et al. Abstract 60. Presented at: Cardiology 2016, the 19th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease; Feb. 24-28, 2016; Orlando, Fla.
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