Nursing Notes

May 24, 2010

Rocking Eases Postop Ileus

Typical Finnish wooden rocking chair.
Image via Wikipedia

I would like to use this blog to showcase some of the research that currently is in effect.  Nursing research is a growing area and I would like to present as much of this research as I feel would be of benefit.

This article, though found on a medical news site has nursing research as the primary source:

Primary source: Applied Nursing Research
Source reference:
Massey R “A randomized trial of rocking-chair motion on the effect of postoperative ileus duration in patients with cancer recovering from abdominal surgery” Appl Nurs Res 2010; 23: 59-64.

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Published: May 21, 2010
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.


Action Points

  • Explain to interested patients that use of a rocking chair can help ease postoperative abdominal discomfort.

Postoperative use of a rocking chair shortened the uncomfortable time until passage of first flatus following surgery for abdominal cancer, a randomized study found.Time to first flatus — the usual marker for relief of the dysfunction and loss of gastrointestinal motility common after abdominal surgery — was 3.16 days in patients who used rocking chairs compared with 3.88 days in patients who sat in nonrocking chairs (P=0.001), according to Robert L. Massey, RN, PhD, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“Patients often describe the period immediately after surgery, prior to the resolution of [postoperative ileus], as the most uncomfortable part of their post abdominal surgery recovery experience,” Massey wrote in the May issue of Applied Nursing Research.

Factors that are thought to contribute to postop ileus include activation of inflammatory mediators, secretion of gastrointestinal hormones, the effects of anesthesia and opiates, and physical status.

Researchers have hypothesized that the rhythmic repetitive motion of rocking stimulates the vestibular nerves and has a modulating effect on the stress response.

A standard-of-care intervention used to help resolve postoperative ileus involves having the patient get out of bed, sit in a chair, and begin walking on the first day after surgery, but evidence for the efficacy of this remains unconvincing, according to the Massey.

Previous studies have suggested that the back-and-forth motion of rocking can help relieve intestinal gas buildup, abdominal distension, and pain in surgical patients.

Rocking also was shown to lessen medication requirements and shorten hospital […]

Please click the link above to read the rest of the article.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hurrah! At last I got a blog from where I can truly take useful data
    concerning my study and knowledge.

    Comment by Svpply.com — October 4, 2014 @ 7:14 pm | Reply


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