Review Shows Effectiveness of Massage for Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Cancer

A team of researchers performed a systematic review to comprehensively evaluate the reliability of massage therapy for cancer patients with anxiety and depression.

In their rationale for conducting the review, the authors write that “Anxiety and depression, complications of cancer, are prevalent but often overlooked mental illnesses. Studies have demonstrated that massage therapy is useful in relieving anxiety and depression of cancer survivors. However, the mechanism is still unclear and no systematic review has provided sufficient evidence for the treatment.”

The researchers systematically evaluated literature from PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Web of Science, Wanfang, Chongqing VIP, CNKI and the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database from the establishment of the databases to June 1, 2020. Only randomized controlled trials on massage for cancer survivors with anxiety and depression, regardless of language and publication status, were included.

The study concludes that, despite the lack of a clear clinical mechanism of action, “massage therapy can be effective in easing mood and reducing cancer-related symptoms, including depression, anxiety pain, fatigue, and so on.”

Read the full study at https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000022262.

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