Research: SAMUEL and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 282

Abstract

SAMUEL and COLLEAGUES, 1 Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India; 2 Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India. vijay.kk@manipal.edu ;    3 Department of Radiation Oncology at Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India; 4 Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia; 5 Human Potential Centre, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand; 6 Cluster for Health Improvement, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Australia conducted a review which studied the effect of two non-pharmacological interventions (massage and relaxation therapy) on sleep disturbances in cancer survivors.

Background

Cancer survivors may experience sleep disturbances during and after their cancer treatments. While pharmacological approaches are commonly used to address sleep disturbances, they may have a number of adverse effects. This review studied the effect of two non-pharmacological interventions (massage and relaxation therapy) on sleep disturbances in cancer survivors.

Methodology

A search for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, PEDro, and CINAHL using relevant keywords.

Results

The search yielded 371 articles, with 4 RCTs studying massage therapy and 3 RCTs studying relaxation therapy included for qualitative analysis. Massage therapy studies showed statistically significant improvement in self-reported sleep questionnaires and objectively recorded long sleep episodes, as assessed via an accelerometer. No significant improvements in sleep outcomes were observed in the relaxation therapy studies, although there were trends for improved self-reported sleep quality.

Conclusion

While massage therapy provided by massage therapists may have some potential for improving sleep outcomes for cancer survivors, there is no such current evidence regarding relaxation therapy. Implications for cancer survivors: Cancer survivors who experience sleep disturbances may benefit from regular sessions with a massage therapist. However, future studies should examine the long-term feasibility of massage therapist-delivered services, particularly for cancer survivors with limited finances, and determine if benefits can be obtained if massage is provided by non-certified individuals. Relaxation therapy appears to be safe for cancer survivors, but future RCTs involving larger sample sizes need to be conducted to better determine its feasibility and efficacy.  Conflict of interest statement Justin Keogh is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

Stephen Rajan Samuel  1 , Rachita Gururaj  1 , K Vijaya Kumar  2 , Prina Vira  1 , P U Prakash Saxena  3 , Justin William Leslie Keogh  1   4   5   6. Randomized control trial evidence for the benefits of massage and relaxation therapy on sleep in cancer survivors-a systematic review. J Cancer Surviv ;15(5):799-810. Oct 2021. doi: 10.1007/s11764-020-00972-x. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

   

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