Background: Pain is a very common cause for emergency room visits. Nonpharmacologic pain management is not well studied for adult patients visiting the ED.
Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Setting: Duke University, Durham, N.C.
Synopsis: Among the studies considered, 56 met inclusion criteria for summary analysis. Multiple interventions were used, mostly acupuncture and physical therapy. Of the 56 studies, 23 reported significantly reduced pain, compared with control; 24 showed no difference, compared with control; and 9 had no control group. Meta-analysis included 22 qualifying randomized, controlled trials and had a global standardized mean difference of –0.46 (95% confidence interval, –0.66 to –0.27) in favor of nonpharmacologic interventions for reducing pain.
Bottom line: Nonpharmacologic pain control approaches may be helpful for adult patients visiting the emergency room. Larger studies are needed to confirm efficacy.
Citation: JT Sakamoto et al. Are nonpharmacologic pain interventions effective at reducing pain in adult patients visiting the emergency department? A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Acad Emerg Med. 2018 Mar 15. doi: 10.1111/acem.13411.
Dr. Hasanein is an assistant professor in the division of hospital medicine at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.