Problem: A quality improvement project was conducted to evaluate the use of an integrative wellness program to improve mood and relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea in children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer at a free-standing children's hospital.
Integrative Wellness Program for Pediatric Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Patients
Tonya Evangelista, Jordan Sosko, Donna M. Weyant, and James B. Schreiber
Background: A wide variety of integrative wellness programs can assist in minimizing symptoms. Yoga and mindfulness create peace and balance by the practice of breathing and meditation, which can promote relaxation and stress reduction.
Interventions: An integrative wellness program was implemented for hematology/bone-marrow services in an outpatient clinic setting and inpatient unit within an urban pediatric hospital. The program included yoga, mindfulness, and aromatherapy. Nineteen patients participated in yoga, 18 patients in mindfulness, and 9 patients in aromatherapy over the course of one year. External specialty-trained personnel provided therapies in yoga and mindfulness in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Additionally, while specialty-trained nurses provided aromatherapy to inpatients. Outcomes measured included nausea and mood pre- and post-implementation using established tools.
Results: Results showed an increase in scores in the positive direction for yoga and mindfulness interventions from pre-implementation to post-implementation achieving significance in all four constructs of The Brief Mood Introspection Scale (Mayer & Gaschke, 1988). There was a reported decrease in nausea symptoms after the aromatherapy intervention and an overall satisfaction with the program.
Conclusion: Integrative wellness is a positive intervention for this patient population and is beneficial to increase a child/adolescent's mood level.