Integrative Symptom Management Toolkit: Group B
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Chronic Pain | Constipation | Nausea
What is integrative symptom management?
Patients are not one size fits all and neither are healthcare interventions. Integrative symptom management emphasizes identifying the right therapy for the right patient at the right time by operationalizing the principles of integrative nursing. In this approach, providers establish presence and intention as they assesses the whole-person. Whole-person assessment informs individualized care, intervention precision, and symptom relief.
A defining characteristic of integrative symptom management is the use of a tiered intervention hierarchy for symptom relief. The hierarchy ranges from the Tier 1 least invasive approach, often self-care, to a more invasive Tier 5 approach, often a pharmacological intervention.
For example, dietary changes, acupressure, aromatherapy, and ginger (tiers 1-2) would be recommended for a pregnant woman experiencing mild to moderate morning sickness, whereas a woman with hyperemesis likely needs pharmacological therapy and IV hydration (tier 5).
Providers can align an intervention to the indicators and severity of the symptom while also taking into account the individual context (sociodemographics, available resources, and beliefs) of the patient.
What are the six principles of integrative nursing?
- Human beings are inseparable from their environments.
- Human beings have the innate capacity for health and wellbeing.
- Nature has healing and restorative properties that contribute to health and wellbeing.
- Integrative nursing is person-centered and relationship-based.
- Integrative nursing practice is informed by evidence and uses the full range of therapeutic modalities to support/augment the healing process, moving from least intensive/invasive to more, depending on need and context.
- Integrative nursing focuses on the health and wellbeing of caregivers as well as those they serve.
How can I use this symptom management toolkit?
Determining which intervention to use can be challenging. Use this resource to enhance your existing knowledge of symptom management in clinical or instructional settings and to practice matching integrative interventions to specific case scenarios. These modules use an evidence-informed approach to determine the best immediate and long-term interventions for the patient based on a whole-person philosophy. The goal is to subtly shift how you teach, research, or practice symptom management to:
- Develop an integrative approach to patient care in the clinical setting, or modeled for students in the instructional setting.
- Educate patients about the full-range of available interventions and self-care practices.
- Collaborate with colleagues, including those from complementary and alternative disciplines.
Each symptom module includes an overview, case study, symptom assessment, integrative assessment and intervention plan, symptom-specific intervention tier table, evidence-informed assessment tools, and Integrative Symptom Management worksheet.