Anxiety Treatment News: Massage Therapy Lessens Anxiety in Mothers of Asthmatic Children

/ May 27th, 2011/ Posted in Mental Health / No Comments »

80-year-old dementia sufferer’s ‘undignified’ treatment at Dundee hospital condemned

A Scottish hospital has been condemned over the treatment of an 80-year-old dementia patient who was not given the “care, dignity and respect she deserved”.

The 80-year-old woman, named only as Mrs V, was taken to Ninewells Hospital, in Dundee, with a chest infection in December 2008. She was given an “unacceptably high” number of sedatives over an 11-day period of treatment after she became anxious and distressed, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland said.

Staff at the hospital administered sedatives rectally 57 times and by injection 29 times before she died of pneumonia.

The woman’s condition meant she was unable to eat and was given no food. But she could see other people eating and could not understand why she was not, leading to further anxiety and distress.

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland said her treatment was degrading, unnecessary, and may have breached her human rights. The commission’s report, Starved of Care, said Mrs V was given repeated, uncomfortable and undignified administrations of sedative medication.

It also said staff did not display “the knowledge, behaviour and attitudes” needed to care for her properly. The report found Mrs V had been agitated and distressed before her transfer to the medical ward.

She thought she should be at home to care for her children. Family members told inspectors she was agitated during their visits and she begged them to take her home with them when they left.

But her agitation was heightened by not being able to eat. The report said: “There was a lack of shared understanding, across medical and mental health services for older people, about the best way to manage people with dementia who become physically unwell while in mental health care.

“We consider that Mrs V was not given the care, dignity and respect she deserved. It can be argued that her rights to privacy and dignity and right to be free from degrading treatment (articles eight and three of the European Convention on Human Rights) were infringed.

“While all members of the care team must reflect on our findings and examine their own individual attitudes and practice, we strongly advise the NHS to examine the performance of individual practitioners.

“Poor clinical decision-making and negative attitudes to people transferred from mental health care appear to have played a significant part in the problems we identified with Mrs V’s care and treatment. We consider that Mrs V’s care could and should have been better managed in an acute medical ward.”

The Dundee hospital, which was not named in the commission report, admitted that the standard of care received was unacceptable.

Dr Margaret McGuire, NHS Tayside director of nursing, said: “The standards of care received by this patient were woefully inadequate, wholly inappropriate and utterly unacceptable.

“Since this event we have initiated a number of service improvement programmes for dementia patients.

“As part of these improvements, we have appointed a nurse consultant in dementia care who is leading improvements in care for our dementia patients and ensuring all members of staff who care for dementia patients have appropriate training and education.”

The commission has revisited the hospital twice since the case and has acknowledged improvements in staff training for dementia care.

Music therapy enhances quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia

University of Granada researchers have proven that music therapy combined with other relax techniques based on guided imagery reduces significantly pain, depression and anxiety, and improves sleep among patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Thus, this therapy enhances patients’ quality of life. This pioneer experimental study in Europe has shown that these two techniques enhance the well-being and personal power of patients with fibromyalgia, who are allowed to take part in their treatment.

This research study was conducted with patients suffering from fibromyalgia from the provinces of Granada, Almería and Córdoba, Spain. They undertook a basal test at the beginning of the treatment, a post-basal test four weeks after the intervention, and another post-basal test eight weeks after the intervention, at the end of the study.

Treatment at home

The researchers applied a relaxation technique based on guided imagery and music therapy to patients, in a series of sessions conducted by a researcher. Patients were given a CD to listen at home. Then, researchers measured a number of variables associated to the main symptoms of fribromyalgia -as pain intensity, quality of life, impact of the condition on patient’s daily life, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, self-efficiency, well-being. Then, patients were given the chance to participate in their own treatment through an understanding of their condition.

Massage Therapy Lessens Anxiety in Mothers of Asthmatic Children

Asthma is a common, chronic childhood disease, and when a child is asthmatic the entire family’s anxiety levels can rise. New research shows massage therapy lowers anxiety in mothers of asthmatic children.

Researchers set out to determine if learning to massage their own asthmatic children provided relief from anxiety among the children’s mothers, according to an abstract published on

“Studies showed a relation between the life quality of children suffering from asthma and the anxiety level of parents,” the researchers noted. “These parents are looking for ways to confront their stress, to reduce their anxiety in encountering with their asthmatic children, and to improve their performance.”

Sixty mothers with asthmatic children aged 5 to 14 years were divided into two groups: One that was trained to massage the head, neck, face, shoulder, hand, leg and back of their children every night before bedtime for one month; and one whose children received standard medical treatment.

The researchers found the daily massage sessions reduced the mothers’ anxiety. “Daily massage helped mothers to have more sense of participation in caring their children and as a non-pharmacological method can be accompanied with pharmacological methods,” the researchers wrote. “The results showed no significant difference in mean anxiety level between the two groups before the intervention but there was a significant difference between them after intervention.”

The study was conducted by personnel at the Department of Pediatrics Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

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