Research paper : Relieving pressure

Research paper
Relieving pressure – An evaluation of Shiatsu treatments for cancer & palliative care patients in an NHS setting

Abstract
Introduction
The study investigated the effectiveness of Shiatsu therapy in relation to the management of health and wellbeing concerns of cancer and palliative care patients in an out-patient clinic.

Method
Patients are referred to the Complementary Therapies Service for symptom management, particularly stress and anxiety, but also other symptoms such as nausea or insomnia. Data was collected following use of the Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing (MYCaW) questionnaire, which was designed for evaluating supportive care interventions.

Results
Mean changes in post-intervention MYCaW scores were highly significant (p < 0.001), demonstrating considerable improvements in both presenting symptoms and perceptions of wellbeing. Based on a significance level of 0.05, both the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test and the two-tailed t-test indicated that post-treatment ranks and means were statistically significantly lower than pre-treatment ranks and means in the categories.

Conclusion
Anxiety, stress management and pain scores were the most improved. Wellbeing scores also improved, on average, by two points on the Likert scale. Patients stated that ‘being listened to’ and ‘being heard’ were important factors when describing how Shiatsu had helped.

We suggest that a study using larger numbers is necessary in order to provide more robust evidence rather than emerging trends.

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