197448 Breast cancer survivors' perspectives on and use of massage therapy as a complementary and alternative medical treatment

Monday, November 9, 2009

Traci Hart, PhD, MA , Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Ruth Wetta-Hall, RN, PhD, MPH, MS , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Amy Chesser, PhD, MA , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Michele Sturgeon, MPH, BS, NCTMB , Integrative Therapies Inc., Wichita, KS
Patients suffering from cancer have recently made use of complementary alternative therapies, with massage therapy (MT). Quantitative studies, using questionnaire design, have shown that MT may reduce psychological distress and enhance symptom control in cancer patients. However, little is known about the patients' personal experiences, such as perceived effects, of the therapy. This study explored the patients' experiences of MT using focus group interviews. Four themes emerged from the analysis including physical and mental benefits of MT, control of decision-making, and positive implications of non-invasive treatment. These outcomes have been acknowledged to some extent by previous authors through qualitative design studies. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to the patients' financial needs, availability of trained therapists, and collaborative efforts with health care providers related to complementary massage therapy.

Learning Objectives:
Describe breast cancer patientsí perceived benefits of receiving massage therapy during cancer treatment. Explain the gap in clinical cancer treatment filled by complementary alternative treatment options. Discuss the benefits of the use of qualitative research methods within this population.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ruth Wetta-Hall, Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, is a registered nurse holding master degrees in nursing administration and public health, and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology. She teaches public health administration, performance improvement and program evaluation in the KUSM-W, MPH program. As the Director of Research and Evaluation Associates in Community and Clinical Health (REACH) Center , Ruth and her research team support the design and implementation of studies that serve clinical and community-based organizations. Ruth has 15 years of clinical experience in emergency and intensive care nursing, and more than five years of experience in quality improvement and Outcomes Research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.