Purpose/objective: To evaluate the usefulness of arm massage from a significant other following lymph node dissection surgery.
Design: Randomized clinical trial with a pretest-posttest design. Data were collected prior to surgery, within 24 hours post surgery, within 10 to 14 days post surgery, and 4 months post surgery.
Sample: 59 women, aged 21 to 78 undergoing lymph node dissection surgery and who had a significant other with them during the postoperative period.
Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Subjects' significant others in the intervention group were first taught, then performed arm massage as a postoperative support measure. RESEARCH MAIN VARIABLES: Variables included postoperative pain, family strengths and stressors, range of motion, and health related costs.
Findings: Participants reported a reduction in pain in the immediate postoperative period and better shoulder function.
Conclusion: Arm massage decreased pain and discomfort related to surgery, and promoted a sense of closeness and support amongst subjects and their significant other.
Implication for nursing practice: Postoperative massage therapy for women with lymph node dissection provided therapeutic benefits for patients and their significant other. Nurses can offer effective alternative interventions along with standard procedures in promoting optimal health.