• The Effects of Reiki on Stress and Pain in the Hospitalized Trauma Patient

      Foster, Dawn; Thomas, Sue Ann, 1947- (2010)
      Stress and pain can detrimentally impact the recovery of patients in the hospital setting. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies have seen an upsurge in healthcare settings. The utilization of Reiki is increasingly employed in hospitals to assist in the alleviation of stress and pain for hospitalized patients. Although progressively used with hospitalized patients, little scientific evidence as to the efficacy of this practice has been established. This study examines the effects of Reiki on both physiological measures of stress and pain (blood pressure and heart rate) and subjective measures (pain scores, amount of pain medication utilized and the State Anxiety Inventory) in hospitalized trauma patients. A quasi-experimental repeated measures study was conducted in the trauma setting. Adults (8 males and 2 females) between 23 and 59 years participated in Reiki and Standard of Care (SOC) visits on 4 consecutive days. Subjects either received Reiki or Standard of Care on day 2 and the alternate on day 3. Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded 12 times, four times during each session, with pre and post pain scores. The amount of pain medication utilized in the previous 24 hours prior to each session was recorded, as well as, the post-session State Anxiety Inventory. No significant relationship was found between age and anxiety levels (p>.05). State anxiety at the final session was found to be significantly lower than at the baseline session (p<.05). Results offered no support that Reiki reduced the need for pain medication in this population (p>.10). No significant differences were found in heart rate and blood pressure either during sessions (p>.10) or between those receiving Reiki and those monitored for SOC (p>.10). While this study offers no support to the utilization of Reiki as an intervention for stress and pain in the hospitalized trauma patient, a discussion as to the problems and pitfalls of clinically-based research and the use of CAM is presented.