Table of Contents
Advances in Nursing
Volume 2015, Article ID 258263, 9 pages
Review Article

The Effects of Nonpharmacological Treatment on Uremic Pruritus Patients: A Systematic Review

1Nursing Department, Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Chiayi, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chia-Yi Campus, Chiayi, Taiwan
3Nursing Department, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Received 23 January 2015; Accepted 31 May 2015

Academic Editor: Marie-Luise Friedemann

Copyright © 2015 Chiu-Feng Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Around 50–90% of hemodialysis patients develop pruritus. Although studies examining nonpharmacological treatments for itchy skin have been conducted, the conclusions have not been decisive. Purpose. Through a systematic review of the literature, this study aimed to understand nonpharmacological interventions carried out in clinical trials for uremic pruritus and to evaluate and consolidate the information regarding these improvements and their effectiveness. Methods. A literature search focusing on studies published between January 2004 and December 2013 was conducted from 5 electronic databases. After screening based on inclusion criteria and excluding duplicates, nonpharmacological treatments examined in randomized clinical trials were selected for further analysis and synthesis. A modified Jadad scale was used to evaluate the quality of the identified articles. Results. Seven nonpharmacological studies met the inclusion criteria. The interventions to improve uremic pruritus included using emollients, phototherapy, acupuncture, and thermal therapy. Research showed that using emollients, phototherapy, and acupuncture significantly reduces uremic pruritus. Conclusion. Nonpharmacological interventions are effective for hemodialysis patients with pruritus. Emollients were found to provide the most relief compared to the other methods and constitute a readily available and cost-effective intervention to improve pruritus symptoms.