Background: Usually the chest tube removal (CTR) has been described as one of the worst experiences by patients in the intensive care unit.
Aim: This study aimed to compare the effects of cold therapy and relaxation on pain of CTR among the patients undergoes coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Materials and methods: This single-blinded clinical trial was done on 80 post-cardiac surgery patients in the heart hospital of Sari-Iran. The patients were assigned to three randomized groups that included cold therapy, relaxation, and control groups. Data analysis was done by T-test, Chi-square, generalized estimating equations and repeated measures analysis variance tests.
Results: The groups had no significant differences in pain intensity before CTR (P = 0.84), but immediately after CTR there was a significant difference between the treatment (cold application and relaxation groups) and control groups (P = 0.001). There was no significant difference between relaxation and cold therapy groups.
Conclusion: Regarding the relaxation and cold application methods showed relatively equal effects on reducing the pain owing to CTR. Thus, the use of relaxation because of economics, without side effects, easy to use and effective is recommended by the authors to the practitioners.
Keywords: Chest tube removal; cold application; coronary artery bypass grafting; pain; relaxation.