The effects of a 6 week psychosocial intervention group on the survival of 21 breast cancer and 29 prostate cancer patients in rural Pennsylvania.
The 6 2-hour class topics emphasized imagery and stress reduction techniques, along with covering attitudes, feelings, self-esteem, spirituality, nutrition and exercise.
The intervention group lived significantly longer than the matched controls, suggesting that short-term psychosocial interventions that encourage the expression of feeling, provide social support and teach coping skills can influence survival. But Self-selection for these groups could have biased this sample.
Citation: Schrock D, Palmer R, Taylor B. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, May, 1999; Vol 5, #3:49-55.
Preparing patients for cancer chemotherapy: effect of coping preparation and relaxation interventions.
Burish, Snyder and Jenkins, the highly regarded Vanderbilt University team known for its many studies of imagery and chemotherapy, assessed the effectiveness of biofeedback and relaxation training in reducing the aversive side effects of cancer chemotherapy on 81 patients.
In this prospective, longitudinal, correlative study, 22 patients with varying kinds of medically incurable, metastatic cancer were followed for one year, as they engaged in weekly group psychological therapy.
Citation: Walker, Walker, Ogston, Heys, Ah-See, Miller, Hutcheon, Sarkar and Eremin. The British Journal of Cancer 1999 April;80(1-2): pp 262-268.
"The Effectiveness of Internet vs. Face-to-Face Support Groups for Women With Breast Cancer" is an ongoing, randomized study comparing their face-to-face support groups and electronic support groups with their "usual care" educational programs.
A review of the impact of hypnosis, relaxation, guided imagery and individual differences on aspects of immunity and health.
A group of London researchers at Marie Curie Cancer Care conducted randomized, controlled, clinical trials to compare the effects of massage alone to massage with essential oils (aromatherapy) on cancer patients in palliative care. The study randomly assigned 103 patients, to either receive massage using a carrier oil (massage) or massage using a carrier oil plus the Roman chamomile essential oil (aromatherapy massage). Outcome measurements included the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and a semi-structured questionnaire, administered 2 weeks postmassage, to explore patients'' perceptions of massage. The study found all massage to be helpful. There was a statistically significant reduction in anxiety after each massage on the STAI (P < 0.001), and improved scores on the RSCL: psychological (P < 0.001), quality of life (P < 0.01), severe physical (P < 0.05), and severe psychological (P < 0.05) subscales for the combined aromatherapy and massage group. The aromatherapy group''s scores improved on all RSCL subscales at the 1% level of significance or better, except for severely restricted activities. The massage group''s scores improved on four RSCL subscales but these improvements did not reach statistical significance. The study concludes that massage, with or without essential oils, appears to reduce levels of anxiety. The addition of Roman chamomile oil seems to enhance the effect of massage and to improve physical and psychological symptoms, as well as overall quality of life.
Citation: Gruzelier JH. A review of the impact of hypnosis, relaxation, guided imagery and individual differences on aspects of immunity and health. Stress 2002 Jun;5(2):147-63.
The study found that vital capacity, tidal volume and breath holding were significantly higher in short and longterm meditators than in non-meditators. Longterm mediators had significantly higher vital capacity and expiratory pressure than short term meditators.
Long-term meditating subjects as well as energy healers who work in the altered state have long reported that the mind state that initially produced spotty transcendental experiences at isolated moments during their beginning practice, evolved to subjectively co-exist in a steady, everyday way with normal waking and sleeping states. Researchers at the Maharishi University in Fairfield, IA investigated the neurophysiological correlates of this integrated state by recording EEG in experienced meditators who reported this integration to subjectively be the case. Investigators recorded EEG in these subjects and in two comparison groups (17 in each condition) during simple tasks and tasks requiring close attention (called contingent negative variation or CNV tasks).
In a small exploratory study by Carol Ginandes, PhD and Daniel Rosenthal, MD at Mass. General''s Dept. of Bone and Joint Disease in Boston, 12 adults with bone fractures were followed for 12 weeks, to see if hypnosis accelerated their healing. Radiographic results showed dramatically improved healing at 6 weeks in the hypnosis patients. In addition, orthopedic assessments of mobility, strength and need for analgesics showed greater improvement in the hypnosis patients at weeks 1, 3 and 9. The hypnotic intervention included audiotaped suggestions to reduce swelling, stimulate tissue growth, and fusion at the injury site, and counteract pain and stress; and imagery rehearsals of greater mobility, enhanced bone strength and recovery of normal activities.
Citation: Ginandes CS, Rosenthal Dl. Using hypnosis to accelerate the healing of bone fractures: a randomized controlled pilot study. Alter Ther Health Med. 1999 Mar; 5(2):67-75
Citation: Gordon A, Merenstein JH, D'Amico F, Hudgens D. The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Journal of Family Practice 1998 Oct; 47(4):271-7.
A research team led by Vaughn Sinclair from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing & Vanderbilt Medical Center evaluated the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral nursing intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis. Ninety adult women with RA participated in 1 of 14 nurse-led groups over an 18-month period. Personal coping resources, pain-coping behaviors, psychological well-being, and disease symptomatology were measured at four time periods. There were significant changes on all of the measures of personal coping resources (p < .001) and psychological well-being (p < .05), half of the pain-coping behaviors (p < .05), and one indicator of disease symptomatology (fatigue, p < .05) from pre- to post intervention. And the positive changes brought about by the program were maintained over the 3-month follow-up period. The study suggests that this kind of intervention could be adapted to benefit individuals with a variety of stressful medical conditions.
Citation: Sinclair VG, Wallston KA, Dwyer KA, Blackburn DS, Fuchs H. Effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis. Research in Nursing & Health 1998 Aug; 21 (4): 315-26.