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Are non-pharmacological nursing interventions for the management of pain effective? - A meta-analysis

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A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effectiveness of a non-pharmacological intervention on the management of pain was conducted. Forty-nine relevant primary studies were identified and retrieved. Individual mean pain scores from these studies were converted to standardized effect sizes and meta-analyses were conducted. Although there is evidence, in the form of primary studies, to suggest that non-pharmacological nursing interventions are effective in the management of pain, the 49 studies, pooled in this meta-analysis, were too heterogeneous to detect a difference between the treatment and control groups reliably. There is a need to rigorously test these interventions in the form of primary RCTs.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Previously Senior Research Officer, Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust, Health Services Research and Evaluation Unit; Currently Research Methodologist, The National Audit Office, London, England

Publication date: December 1, 1996

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