Introduction and Objectives
Fatigue and poor sleep quality is common state in patients with head and neck cancer. This study examined the effectiveness of the muscle relaxation intervention to improve the fatigue and sleep quality in head and neck cancer patients.
Patients were randomized to intervention and control group (see Figure 1). The outcome adjudicators were blinded. The intervention group underwent Hendrickson muscle relaxation therapy for 15 minutes every night from the Day 3 of transfer from intensive care unit until they were discharged from hospital and the control group received regular care. We observed and recorded the all patients’ status on each day. The outcomes were measured by using the Taiwanese version of the BFI (The Brief Fatigue Inventory, the scale range from 0 to 10), PSQI (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the scale range from 0 to 21) scale and the severity of depression level (Visual Analogue Scale, the range from 0 to 10).
A total of 60 patients were included and analyzed(see Table 1), excluding 7 patients were dropped from the study for a few reasons. General Estimated Equation analysis revealed that the sleep quality (β = -2.07; p > 0.05) and fatigue (β = -0.80; p > 0.05) of the intervention group exhibited greater improvements than those of the control group (see Table 2). The depression level of the intervention group was significantly lower than of the control group on Days 4, Day 5, Day 7, Day 9 and Day 10 (p > 0.05) (see Figure 2).
The use of muscle relaxation intervention does prove to be of greater benefit in decreasing fatigue and promote sleep quality. Hence, clinical care workers could use this study as a reference for patient care.