Acupuncture improves sleep in hospitals

Aim: This review aimed to synthesise the available reviews on the effects of nursing interventions on sleep quality among patients hospitalised in intensive care and non-intensive care units.

Background: Poor sleep quality is a common fact in hospitalised patients. Nurses can contribute to the improvement of patients’ sleep quality and duration.

Design: A review of intervention reviews was carried out and reported following the PRISMA guidelines and checklist.

Methods: We systematically searched for reviews published from January 2009 to December 2019 in PubMed, CINAHL Plus, Scopus, Institute for Scientific Information Web of Science, Joanna Briggs Database of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases. Searches were repeated at 24 November 2020 to include the most recent evidence. A narrative synthesis of the results was conducted.

Results: Nine reviews (representing 109 original papers) met the selection criteria and were included for critical appraisal. Overall, nursing interventions and sleep quality were poorly defined. We grouped the interventions into 3 categories (environmental, barrier and internal interventions) to provide a more comprehensive overview and examine effects of nursing interventions on inpatients sleep quality. Inconsistent results were obtained and low quality of the original articles was reported, making it difficult to establish absolute conclusions.

Conclusion: The impact of environmental changes on patients’ sleep was positive but inconclusive, while use of earplugs and eye masks, music and acupuncture generally showed positive results with moderate quality of evidence, and no harmful effects were reported.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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