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Progressive muscle relaxation training and guided imagery in reducing chemotherapy side effects

02 May

A Korean study with 30 breast cancer patients demonstrated that guided imagery and progressive relaxation administered together before each of 6 cycles of chemotherapy, reduces anticipatory nausea and vomiting, improves quality of life.

Researchers at the Department of Psychiatry, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea studied the effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation training (PMRT) and guided imagery (GI) in reducing the anticipatory nausea and vomiting (ANV) and postchemotherapy nausea and vomiting (PNV) and in increasing quality of life for patients with breast cancer.

 

Thirty new chemotherapy patients with breast cancer were randomized to the PMRT and GI group and 30 to the control group. Before each of six cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy, each patient was administered a self-report Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist (MAACL), and incidents of ANV and PNV for the first three postchemotherapy days were recorded. All patients were administered the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B) at baseline and after 3 and 6 months.

The study found that the PMRT and GI group was significantly less anxious, depressed and angry than the control group. In addition, the PMRT and GI group experienced significantly less ANV and PNV, and 6 months after CT, the QoL of the PMRT and GI group was higher than that of the control group.

These results indicate that PMRT and GI were associated with both the improvements in ANV and PNV and in the QoL of patients with breast cancer.

Citation: Yoo HJ, Ahn SH, Kim SB, Kim WK, Han OS.Efficacy of progressive muscle relaxation training and guided imagery in reducing chemotherapy side effects in patients with breast cancer and in improving their quality of life. Support Care Cancer. 2005 Apr 23 [Epub ahead of print] This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award