ARTICLE - Gentle Massage Improves Disease- and Treatment-Related Symptoms in Patients with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia


Ann Gill Taylor1*, Audrey E Snyder2, Joel G Anderson1, Cynthia J Brown3, John J Densmore4 and Cheryl Bourguignon1

1Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

2University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

3University of West Georgia School of Nursing, Carrollton, Georgia, USA

4Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Corresponding Author :Ann Gill TaylorEdD, RN, FAAN, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative TherapiesUniversity of Virginia School of NursingCharlottesville, Virginia, USATel: 434-924-0113Fax: 434-243-9938E-mail:


Received February 02, 2014; Accepted March 13, 2014; Published March 17, 2014


Citation: Taylor AG, Snyder AE, Anderson JG, Brown CJ, Densmore JJ, et al. (2014) Gentle Massage Improves Disease- and Treatment-Related Symptoms in Patients with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. J Clin Trials 4: 161. doi: 10.4172/2167-0870.1000161


Copyright: © 2014 Taylor AG, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



ABSTRACT - Objective: Cancer treatment is reported to be stressful, and patients diagnosed with hematologic cancers often exhibit higher levels of anxiety and emotional distress than individuals with other malignancies. Management of these symptoms in patients with hematologic cancer presents significant challenges, as many of them are in and out of the hospital while undergoing high dose chemotherapy. Oncology patients use complementary modalities such as therapeutic massage in an attempt to alleviate disease and treatment-related symptoms, including anxiety and emotional distress. In the current study, the feasibility of a novel massage intervention delivered over the continuum of care, as well as assessment of the immediate and cumulative effects of massage, was examined in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia.
Methods: A mixed-methods, unmasked, prospective, randomized study was conducted with two groups: a usual care alone control group and a massage therapy intervention plus usual care group.
Results: Significant improvements in levels of stress and health-related quality of life were observed in the massage therapy group versus the usual care alone group, after adjusting for anxiety level, including both immediate and cumulative effects of massage.
Conclusions: While the findings of the current study regarding acceptability, feasibility, and potential efficacy of therapeutic massage as a complementary health-enhancing intervention in patients diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia are very promising, the relatively small size of the study sample limits generalizability.








ARTICLE - Massage therapy for cancer palliation and supportive care: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials.

E Ernst - University of Exeter



Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter EX2 4NT, UK.

Supportive Care in Cancer (Impact Factor: 2.09). 02/2009; 17(4):333-7.

Source: PubMed



ABSTRACT - Massage is a popular adjunct to cancer palliation. This systematic review is aimed at critically evaluating all available randomised clinical trials of massage in cancer palliation.Six databases were searched to identify all trials of classical massage for cancer patients. Studies of other types of massage, e.g. reflexology, aromatherapy, were excluded. Fourteen trials met all inclusion criteria.Collectively, they suggest that massage can alleviate a wide range of symptoms: pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, anger, stress and fatigue. However, the methodological quality of the included studies was poor, a fact that prevents definitive conclusions.The evidence is, therefore, encouraging but not compelling. The subject seems to warrant further investigations which avoid the limitations of previous studies.