Developing treatment and control conditions in a clinical trial of massage therapy for advanced cancer.

Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.
Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology 01/2007; 5(4):139-46. DOI: 10.2310/7200.2007.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this article is to describe the challenges faced by a research team in developing treatment and control conditions in a study of the efficacy of massage therapy for advanced cancer. Five design considerations were addressed related to developing a massage therapy protocol: (1) dosage, that is, the number, spacing and length of treatments; (2) type of massage therapy; (3) degree to which the protocol for the treatment is standardized; (4) qualifications of the persons providing the treatment; and (5) conditions under which the treatment is provided. Five criteria for structuring the control condition of the study are elaborated: (1) equivalency of contact; (2) similarity of form; (3) minimum adverse or negative effects; (4) expectancy of therapeutic benefit; and (5) minimum therapeutic benefit.

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