The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat cancer patients has increased around the world, and its benefits have been described. These therapies represent an important theme in oncology and have been used in parallel with conventional therapies.
This study aimed to assess the outcomes of using relaxation with visualization and acupuncture on the quality of life of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and to compare these outcomes with patients who did not choose to receive the intervention.
Participants chose to be in either the intervention group (IG) or control group (CG). They completed the Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 at the start and end of chemotherapy. The IG was chosen by 38 patients with different types of cancer who completed weekly relaxation with visualization and acupuncture sessions, whereas the CG was composed of 37 patients who did not receive the intervention.
Statistically significant results evidenced an increase in global health and emotional and social functions and a decrease in fatigue and loss of appetite for the IG, and an increase in global health for the CG (P ≤.05). A highly significant difference was found when comparing the post-chemotherapy scores of the Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 in the global health domain between the CG and the IG (P ≤.001), indicating positive outcomes of the CAM intervention.
Adults with cancer are able to choose between involvement or not with this kind of CAM intervention. Global health could be improved by participating in this type of intervention.
Implications for Practice:
Choosing whether to be involved may be assisted by knowing the positive outcomes for some patients.