Texting Cuts Patients' Need for Pain Meds During Surgery

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Texting Cuts Patients' Need for Pain Meds During Surgery
Texting Cuts Patients' Need for Pain Meds During Surgery

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Texting during minor surgery cuts the need for pain relievers among patients receiving regional anesthesia, according to a brief research report published in the April issue of Pain Medicine.

Jamie E. Guillory, Ph.D., from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and colleagues randomized 98 patients receiving regional anesthesia for minor surgeries (between January and March 2012) to text message with a companion, text message with a stranger, play a distracting mobile phone game, or receive standard perioperative management.

The researchers found that the odds of receiving supplemental analgesia during surgery were nearly seven times higher for patients receiving standard perioperative management than for those texting a stranger (P = 0.009). Similarly, patients receiving standard management had 4.39 times higher odds compared with those texting a companion (P = 0.03) and nearly two times higher odds compared with those playing a distracting game (P = 0.25).

"Text messaging during surgery provides analgesic-sparing benefits that surpass distraction techniques, suggesting that mobile phones provide new opportunities for social support to improve patient comfort and reduce analgesic requirements during minor surgeries and in other clinical settings," the authors write.

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