Acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing for breast cancer

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Phoebe Lyssandra Tan Lee, Ka Wai Tam, Mei Ling Yeh, Wei Wen Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Researches have accumulated using non-pharmacologic interventions including acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing to manage breast cancer-related symptoms. Results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can get contradictory. Objective A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to determine the effects on the quality of life, negative emotions and disease-related symptoms among women with breast cancer. Methods Two independent researchers performed a structured search using data sources including MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, PubMed and PsychINFO from the beginning of time until the first week of January 2015. A total of 23 acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing RCTs were included in the review. Results The study showed that no single intervention could be put under the spotlight exhibiting an overall effective result on all measured outcomes; however, looking into each one in detail shows different results in specific outcomes. Among the three interventions, acupoint stimulation has a treatment effect for general pain (MD = −1.46, 95% CI = −2.38 to −0.53) and fatigue (MD = −2.22, 95% CI = −3.68 to −0.77), massage therapy has a treatment effect for anxiety (MD = −0.50, 95% CI = −0.77 to −0.24), and expressive writing has a treatment effect for quality of life (MD = 7.18, 95% CI = 0.38 to 13.98). The measurement other outcomes showed either ineffective or equivocal results. Conclusion Non-pharmacologic interventions including acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing have an effect on a middle-age woman with breast cancer. However, because of limitations, the seemingly promising results should be interpreted with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-101
Number of pages15
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016

Fingerprint

Acupuncture Points
Massage
Meta-Analysis
Randomized Controlled Trials
Breast Neoplasms
Quality of Life
Information Storage and Retrieval
PubMed
MEDLINE
Fatigue
Emotions
Therapeutics
Anxiety
Research Personnel
Pain
Research

Keywords

  • Acupoint stimulation
  • Anxiety
  • Breast cancer
  • Expressive writing
  • Massage therapy
  • Meta-analysis
  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing
  • Complementary and Manual Therapy

Cite this

Acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing for breast cancer : A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. / Lee, Phoebe Lyssandra Tan; Tam, Ka Wai; Yeh, Mei Ling; Wu, Wei Wen.

In: Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Vol. 27, 01.08.2016, p. 87-101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Researches have accumulated using non-pharmacologic interventions including acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing to manage breast cancer-related symptoms. Results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can get contradictory. Objective A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to determine the effects on the quality of life, negative emotions and disease-related symptoms among women with breast cancer. Methods Two independent researchers performed a structured search using data sources including MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, PubMed and PsychINFO from the beginning of time until the first week of January 2015. A total of 23 acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing RCTs were included in the review. Results The study showed that no single intervention could be put under the spotlight exhibiting an overall effective result on all measured outcomes; however, looking into each one in detail shows different results in specific outcomes. Among the three interventions, acupoint stimulation has a treatment effect for general pain (MD = −1.46, 95{\%} CI = −2.38 to −0.53) and fatigue (MD = −2.22, 95{\%} CI = −3.68 to −0.77), massage therapy has a treatment effect for anxiety (MD = −0.50, 95{\%} CI = −0.77 to −0.24), and expressive writing has a treatment effect for quality of life (MD = 7.18, 95{\%} CI = 0.38 to 13.98). The measurement other outcomes showed either ineffective or equivocal results. Conclusion Non-pharmacologic interventions including acupoint stimulation, massage therapy and expressive writing have an effect on a middle-age woman with breast cancer. However, because of limitations, the seemingly promising results should be interpreted with caution.",
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