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

J Adv Nurs. 1996 Dec;24(6):1152-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.1996.tb01020.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pain / nursing*
  • Pain Measurement / nursing
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome