Along with the well-known pharmacological and technological advances in the treatment of the critically ill, nurses have made significant contributions in the realm of more holistic approaches to care, advancing well-known nursing therapies such as physical activity, music, and relationship-based care. The purpose of this article is to review current literature regarding adjunctive therapies used for the care for the critically ill, and, by extension, the chronically critically ill. The review describes the application of interventions using physical activity, spirituality, music, complementary and alternate therapies, relationship-focused care, and pet visitation. The authors conducted a multidisciplinary review of literature published between 1990 and 2009, using the Cochrane Database system and PubMed. The main focus was intervention studies; articles in which authors reviewed evidence and made suggestions for practice or further research were also examined.

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