Nonpharmacological interventions to manage common symptoms in patients receiving mechanical ventilation

Mary Fran Tracy, Linda Chlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Patients receiving mechanical ventilation can experience symptoms such as pain, anxiety, agitation, and lack of sleep while in the intensive care unit, all of which can affect healing. Nonpharmacological complementary therapies can be used as adjuncts to sedatives and analgesics. By incorporating appropriate use of complementary therapies in conjunction with mainstream medical therapies, nurses can decrease patients' anxiety, promote sleep, and promote a healing environment to improve outcomes. Minimizing noise and providing access to natural light help promote a healing environment. Methods to promote sleep include relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and massage and communication with patients' and their families to determine the patients' normal sleep patterns. Complementary therapies to relieve anxiety and agitation include music intervention, imagery, presence, and animal-assisted therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalCritical care nurse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 31 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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