Psychosomatic effects of blanketing in nursing care

Namiji Tokunaga, Kiyoko Fukai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: Blanketing, which involves covering patients with a blanket in order to maintain their body temperature and privacy and help alleviate the stress that is associated with medical procedures, is a fundamental skill in nursing care. However, the actual therapeutic effects of blanketing have not been adequately investigated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to clarify the psychosomatic effects of blanketing in nursing care by observing autonomic nervous activity. Methods: This single-cohort, intra-participant, comparative cross-over study included 30 healthy female adolescents. Two of the 30 participants were excluded from the analysis. After splitting the participants into blanketing and non-blanketing groups, the stress and anxiety that patients undergo during nursing care was simulated and the responses were analyzed by using psychological and physiological indicators. The parametric data were analyzed by using a paired t-test or one-way ANOVA and the non-parametric data were analyzed by using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The significance level was <5%. Results: No significant difference was seen between the two groups in vital signs, salivary alpha-amylase activity, respiratory movement or skin surface temperature. However, the postintervention scores for “Tension–Anxiety” in the Profile of Mood States – Brief Form were significantly lower for the blanketed than the non-blanketed arm, “sense of ease” and “feeling protected” were significantly higher for the blanketed arm, and in the middle intervention segment, the parasympathetic nervous activity and sympathetic nervous activity were significantly higher and lower, respectively, for the blanketed arm. Conclusion: These results suggest that blanketing is effective in relieving psychological stress and promoting a sense of ease among patients who are receiving nursing care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalJapan Journal of Nursing Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • autonomic nervous system
  • blanket
  • privacy
  • psychological strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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