NCPD Article

Weighted Blanket: An Anxiety Reduction Tool in the Outpatient Oncology Infusion Setting

Cheri Hermann

Megan Corbett

Lisa Chicko

Victoria Cole

Cynthia Arcieri

Terri Jabaley
weighted blanket, anxiety, COVID-19, cancer, infusion, chemotherapy
CJON 2024, 28(3), 281-286. DOI: 10.1188/24.CJON.281-286

Background: Adults with cancer experience a significantly higher level of anxiety compared with the general population. Anxiety is reported at diagnosis and throughout the cancer trajectory, and it is particularly heightened at the initiation of infusion treatments. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated anxiety levels in patients receiving cancer treatments.

Objectives: This evidence-based practice project evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of using medical-grade weighted blankets to reduce anxiety in patients with cancer receiving the first two infusion treatments in the ambulatory setting.

Methods: Patients completed a modified version of the Visual Analog Scale for Anxiety to self-report anxiety pre- and postimplementation. Patients and nurses completed feasibility surveys.

Findings: Patients reported reduced anxiety after using a weighted blanket and described weighted blankets as comforting and soothing. More than 90% of surveyed patients agreed or strongly agreed that the blanket was comfortable, not too heavy, and easy to put on, and did not interfere with nursing care or their own activities. Nurses valued the ease of use and adherence to infection control standards.

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