The effects of ice massage therapy on peripheral neuropathic pain and sleep in persons with AIDS
Pain is a universal human experience and the most frequent reason that people seek health care. Peripheral neuropathic pain is a unique form of chronic pain that afflicts 10% to 30% of persons with AIDS (PWAs). The pain manifests as tingling and burning sensations known as dysthesias. Dysthesias result in constant pain and impaired rest and sleep. Peripheral neuropathic pain is unique from other pain types because the dysthesias are not alleviated with the traditional pharmacological intervention of opiods or analgesics. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the efficacy of ice massage to reduce neuropathic pain and improve sleep quality in PWAs.
A quasi-experimental, repeated measures with three treatment levels design was used for the study. The three treatment levels were ice massage, dry towel massage, and no treatment. A nonprobability, consecutive sampling technique was used to select 33 PWAs who suffered from peripheral neuropathies. Pain was measured with a Visual Analog Scale prior to each treatment, immediately after each treatment, and immediately upon waking up the next morning. The Richards-Campbell Sleep Questionnaire, a 5-item instrument with a visual analogue scale design, was used to measure sleep quality after each treatment in the morning upon waking. A data sheet was used to record descriptive information.
The first hypothesis, there will be a significant difference in peripheral neuropathic foot pain in PWAs who receive ice foot massage prior to bedtime, than when receiving dry towel massage or no massage, was examined using a 2-way within-subjects approach. The second hypothesis, there will be a significant difference in sleep quality in PWAs who receive ice foot massage prior to bedtime, than when receiving dry towel massage or no massage, was examined using a multivariate approach to ANOVA for repeated measures. None of the hypotheses were supported.
Ice massage did not significantly affect pain or sleep quality caused by peripheral neuropathies. The findings must be viewed with caution, because power analysis revealed low effect size and an inadequate sample size.