Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection Care

Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Feng Feng; Jane Hokanson Hawks; Jeanine Kernen; Eric Kyle


Urol Nurs. 2018;38(5):231-235. 

In This Article

Other CAM Approaches

Aromatherapy may be defined as "the selected use of essential oils and related products of plant origin with the general goal of improving health and well-being" (Micozzi, 2015, p. 441). Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of aromatherapy on sleep, blood pressure control, and anxiety (Erdoǧan & Atik, 2017). Aromatherapy also has been found to have anti-bacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, vasodilation, and boosting immune function abilities (Ali et al., 2015; Bahrami et al, 2017; Chen et al., 2017). Combining aromatherapy with other CAM approaches to treat rUTI could prove beneficial.

Music therapy is asserted to be an efficient, reliable treatment method that can nonpharmacologically decrease pain and anxiety by changing mood on a cortical level, stimulating the mind and imagination. Aesthetic pleasure acknowledged by the right brain causes the body to secrete anti-inflammatory substances, such as endorphins (Erdoǧan & Atik, 2017). So far, there is no research on music therapy specifically related to rUTI care. Additional research could investigate integrating music therapy with other CAM approaches to treat rUTI.

Biofeedback has been introduced for urinary symptom management. This approach could manage pain or muscle spasms by charting muscle activity on a computer and using visual feedback to achieve conscious control over muscles (Atchley et al., 2015). Meditation, prayer, and other spiritual practices have also been asserted to have a positive effect on physical and emotional healing. Individuals who pray, meditate regularly, or integrate their spirituality into daily life have better coping skills and improved immune function (Erdoǧan & Atik, 2017, Leong, 2014; Steinhorn, Din, & Johnson, 2017). CAM approaches, such as Ayurveda and Unani, may assist rUTI management. Ayurveda is a Hindu traditional medicine whereas Unani is founded on the teachings of Hippocrates with contributions from Greek. However, not many research studies evaluate positive outcomes.