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Complementary Health Approaches Used in the Intensive Care Unit

Erdoğan, Zeynep PhD; Atik, Derya PhD

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000227

Intensive care units are care centers where, in order to provide the maximum benefit to individuals whose life is in danger, many lifesaving technological tools and devices are present, and morbidity and mortality rates are high. In the intensive care unit, when classic treatments fail or become unbearable because of side effects, complementary methods have been suggested to be the best alternative. Complementary health approaches are methods that are used both for the continuation and the improvement of the well-being of an individual and as additions to medical treatments that are based on a holistic approach. These applications are especially helpful in the treatment of the stresses, anxieties, and other symptoms of unstable patients in the intensive care unit who do not tolerate traditional treatment methods well, increasing their psychological and physiological well-being, helping them sleep and rest. In intensive care patients, in order to decrease the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation, antiemetic and medicine needs, mechanical ventilation duration, and the intensity of the disease as well as to cope with symptoms such as pain, anxiety, physiological parameters, dyspnea, and sleep problems, body-mind interventions such as massage, reflexology, acupressure, aromatherapy, music therapy, energy therapies (healing touch, therapeutic touch, the Yakson method), and prayer are used as complementary health approaches.

Ahmet Erdogan Vocational School of Health Services, Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak, Turkey (Dr Erdoğan); and Nursing Department, School of Health, Osmaniye Korkut Ata University, Osmaniye, Turkey (Dr Atik).

Correspondence: Zeynep Erdoğan, PhD, Ahmet Erdogan Vocational School of Health Services, Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak, Turkey 67600 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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