Background: Pain in patients under haemodialysis affects the quality of life of chronic renal patients. Distraction has been effective in controlling pain induced by the insertion of needles. Once applied adequately, distraction promotes endorphin release, with efficacy in acute pain management. This study evaluates pain perception while puncturing the haemodialysis device, using an anti-stress ball as a distraction strategy.
Methods: This study is a retrospectively registered pilot randomised controlled trial of 47 chronic renal patients undergoing regular haemodialysis programs in a dialysis unit, in the central region of Portugal. Patients were randomly allocated into control and intervention groups. The intervention group received an anti-stress ball on the opposite limb of the vascular access, while the control group underwent pain evaluation without any intervention. Pain was monitored using a numeric pain scale. The study aimed to evaluate pain during vascular access cannulation and explore the potential benefits of using an anti-stress ball to reduce this pain.
Results: Patients in the intervention group experienced significantly lower pain scores (-1.23; p < 0.05) during vascular access cannulation compared to the control group (-0.51).
Conclusion: Distraction through an anti-stress ball reduces the perception of pain experienced by the chronic renal patients undergoing haemodialysis. However, the trial’s retrospective registration may introduce a risk of selective-outcome reporting. Further research with prospectively registered trials is recommended to validate the findings.Reference:
Dinis M, Sousa JP. A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial on the Effectiveness of an Anti-Stress Ball Technique for Pain Reduction during Vascular Access Cannulation in Haemodialysis Patients. Nurs Rep. 2023 Apr 17;13(2):731-739. doi: 10.3390/nursrep13020064. PMID: 37092492.