THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Use of mentholated popsicles can reduce the intensity and discomfort from thirst during preoperative fasting, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Patricia Aroni, Ph.D., R.N., from the State University of Londrina in Brazil, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving 40 patients aged 18 to 60 years. Participants were randomly allocated to a mentholated popsicle group or absolute fasting group (20 in each). Thirst intensity and discomfort from thirst were measured twice, at baseline and after 20 minutes of intervention.

The researchers found that the mentholated popsicle group had a higher median score for the scales of intensity and discomfort from thirst (6.5 and 7.5 points, respectively) than the absolute fasting group (5.0 and 5.0 points, respectively) at baseline. The mentholated popsicle group had a statistically significant decrease in intensity and discomfort from thirst at the end of 20 minutes (median decreases, 5.0 and 7.0 points, respectively) compared with the absolute fasting group (median increases, 0.5 and 1.0 point, respectively).

“The results of this study might help in the nursing staff in the decision-making procedure of choosing interventions to minimize the patient’s thirst and consequently increasing the quality of service by implementing a simple strategy of thirst management,” the authors write.

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