• back pain;
  • blood pressure;
  • cardiac catheterization;
  • heart rate;
  • nursing;
  • positioning;
  • vascular complications


Title. The effect of three positioning methods on patient outcomes after cardiac catheterization.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to investigate the effect of three positioning protocols on back pain, heart rate, blood pressure and vascular complications after cardiac catheterization.

Background.  After cardiac catheterization, bed rest is prescribed in order to minimize vascular complications, but this often leads to back pain and other complications, such as hemodynamic instability.

Methods.  A three-group quasi-experimental design was used in this study, which was conducted in 2006. A convenience sample of 105 patients was randomly assigned to either the control or the two experimental groups (A and B). The control group received routine care. Group B was treated only with modified positioning and group A with modified positioning and a pillow under their body. Back pain, heart rate, arterial blood pressure, haematoma formation and bleeding were measured at regular time intervals.

Findings.  The control group experienced higher levels of pain after 3, 6, 8 hours and the morning after catheterization. The level of pain in group B was also higher than in group A at 3 hours after the procedure. Mean heart rate and blood pressure were lower in the experimental groups compared with the control group at 6 and 8 hours after catheterization. No statistically significant difference between the three groups regarding the amounts of overall bleeding and overall haematoma formation was observed.

Conclusion.  Changing position in bed and using a supportive pillow during the early hours after cardiac catheterization can effectively minimize pain and hemodynamic instability without increasing vascular complications.