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Endoscopic Procedure With a Modified Reiki Intervention: A Pilot Study

Hulse, Rosalinda S. MSN, RN; Stuart-Shor, Eileen M. PhD, ANP, FAHA, FAAN; Russo, Jonathan MD

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e3181ca03b9

This pilot study examined the use of Reiki prior to colonoscopy to reduce anxiety and minimize intraprocedure medications compared with usual care. A prospective, nonblinded, partially randomized patient preference design was employed using 21 subjects undergoing colonoscopy for the first time. Symptoms of anxiety and pain were assessed using a Likert-type scale. Between-group differences were assessed using chi-square analyses and analysis of variance. There were no differences between the control (n = 10) and experimental (n = 11) groups on age (mean = 58 years, SD = 8.5) and gender (53% women). The experimental group had higher anxiety (4.5 vs. 2.6, p = .03) and pain (0.8 vs. 0.2, p = .42) scores prior to colonoscopy. The Reiki intervention reduced mean heart rate (−9 beats/minute), systolic blood pressure (−10 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (−4 mmHg), and respirations (−3 breaths/minute). There were no between-group differences on intraprocedure medication use or postprocedure physiologic measures. Although the experimental group patients had more symptoms, they did not require additional pain medication during the procedure, suggesting that (1) anxious people may benefit from an adjunctive therapy; (2) anxiety and pain are decreased by Reiki therapy for patients undergoing colonoscopy, and (3) additional intraprocedure pain medication may not be needed for colonoscopy patients receiving Reiki therapy. This pilot study provided important insights in preparation for a rigorous, randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Rosalinda S. Hulse, MSN, RN, is Graduate Student, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Staff Nurse, Endoscopy Unit, Jordan Hospital, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Eileen M. Stuart-Shor, PhD, ANP, FAHA, FAAN, is Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Nurse Practitioner, Anesthesia and Critical Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Jonathan Russo, MD, is Chief of Endoscopy, Jordan Hospital, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Correspondence to: Rosalinda S. Hulse, MSN, RN, Endoscopy Unit, Jordan Hospital, 275 Sandwich St, Plymouth, MA 02360 (e-mail:

Received November 24, 2008; accepted July 7, 2009.

© The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses & Associates 2010. All Rights Reserved.