Effect of a spa bath on patient symptoms in an acute palliative care setting: A pilot study Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the potential for a spa bath intervention to reduce the perception of pain and anxiety, and to improve well-being, among palliative patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS:52 palliative care patients rated their pain, anxiety and well-being before and after taking a bath in a purpose-built spa bath designed to accommodate frail and unwell patients. RESULTS:The intervention improved patients' self-reported pain (t(51) = -6.13, p<.001, dz = .85), anxiety (t(51) = -4.58, p<.001, dz = .64), and well-being (t(48) = -7.19, p < .001, dz = 1.03). CONCLUSION:The provision of a spa bath may be a simple and effective way to improve patients' quality of life, within the normal course of nursing duties. Whether these results are achieved in a controlled trial and the duration of these effects is unknown. These preliminary results justify further investigation of the potential for water-based relaxation therapy for patients at the end-of-life.

publication date

  • 2018