52 cancer or AIDS patients admitted to an inpatient hospice facility will be randomly assigned to either group: 1) receiving three 20 minute, low frequency vibration sessions daily for 2 days (using the physioacoustic mattress housing the vibration system) or 2) receiving standard care for 2 days followed by PRN use of low-frequency vibrations. All subjects will rate their pain intensity, affective component of pain, and presence of nausea and/or vomiting and will have blood pressures taken at the following times during the first 48 hours in the hospice facility: 8:00AM, 8:30AM, 9:30AM, 12:00PM, 12:30PM, 1:30PM, 4:00PM, 4:30PM, and 5:30PM. Pain medications used during the first 4 days (2 days with/without the intervention and 2 days with only PRN use of vibration at patient discretion) will be documented. Frequency of use of PRN vibration will be collected. Group comparisons will be made to evaluate effectiveness of physioacoustic intervention on pain and medication use. Data on blood pressures and nausea/vomiting will be collected prior to, immediately following and 1 hour post-intervention to evaluate any potential side effects of low-frequency vibration.
Long-term commercial objectives are to educate providers of palliative care about the technology and to distribute this technology/product in the hospice market. Specifically, physioacoustic therapy may be used to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety or tension, alter the perception of pain, and offer increased comfort for those persons requiring extended periods of time in bed. Potential market segments could include inpatient hospice facilities, home-health care hospice service, nursing homes, and any other institutions where hospice patients might receive care.