Comparison of the effects of local cold therapy and hand and foot massage on blood pressure in post-operative patients

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

3 Community-Oriented Nursing Midwifery Research Center, Nursing and midwifery school Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

4 Non communicable Research Diseases Center, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran


Background: Effective management of postoperative blood pressure is vital to minimizing the risk of complications in patients. The use of pharmacotherapy alone may not be sufficient, and complementary methods such as local cold therapy and massage techniques have shown promising results in maintaining blood pressure stability.
Objectives: The primary aim of this study was to investigate and compare the impact of local cold therapy and hand and foot massage on blood pressure levels in surgical patients. By examining the efficacy of these non-pharmacological approaches, we aim to identify safe and effective methods for postoperative blood pressure management.
Methods: This semi-experimental study employed a three-group, before-after design and was comprised of 90 patients who underwent surgery in 2019 at the Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Patients were selected through a convenience-sampling method and randomly assigned to either the intervention group, which received local cold therapy and massage, or the control group. The local cold therapy and massage were administered three times per day for 20 minutes over a 48-hour period. Following the intervention, the researcher measured changes in blood pressure.
Results: The mean difference in systolic blood pressure before and after the intervention was found to be significant in both the massage (p = 0.001) and local cold therapy (p = 0.002) groups. Similarly, the mean difference in diastolic blood pressure before and after the intervention was significant for the massage (P<0.001) and local cold therapy (P = 0.036) groups. An ANOVA test was conducted, revealing no significant differences in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure between the different groups before (P = 0.28) and after (P = 0.059) the intervention. 
Conclusion: The findings suggest that incorporating local cold therapy and hand and foot massage into routine care may be beneficial. It could be valuable to teach nurses and patients' companions how to use these methods effectively in order to enhance their effectiveness.


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