Patients with acute leukemia usually experience pain, fatigue, and sleep disorders, which affect their quality of life. Massage therapy, as a nondrug approach, can be useful in controlling such problems. However, very few studies have been conducted on the effects of massage therapy on the complications of leukemia.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of slow-stroke back massage (SSBM) on the symptom cluster in acute leukemia adult patients undergoing chemotherapy.
In this randomized controlled trial, 60 patients with acute leukemia were allocated randomly to either the intervention or control group. The intervention group received SSBM 3 times a week (every other day for 10 minutes) for 4 weeks. The pain, fatigue, and sleep disorder intensities were measured using the numeric rating scale. The sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Statistical tests of χ2, t test, and the repeated-measure analysis of variance were used for data analysis.
Results showed that the SSBM intervention significantly reduced the progressive sleep disorder, pain, fatigue, and improved sleep quality over time.
Slow-stroke back massage, as a simple, noninvasive, and cost-effective approach, along with routine nursing care, can be used to improve the symptom cluster of pain, fatigue, and sleep disorders in leukemia patients.
Implications for Practice:
Oncology nurses can increase their knowledge regarding this symptom cluster and work to diminish the cluster components by using SSBM in adult leukemia patients.