Relieving pressure – An evaluation of shiatsu treatments for cancer and palliative care patients in an NHS setting

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... C o m p l e m e n t a r y t h e r a p i e s , s u c h a s aromatherapy massage, reflexology and meditation, which run alongside conventional therapies, focus on the wellbeing of patients, offering benefits for the management of anxiety and stress reduction, to improve patient experience and support quality of life (Anderson and Taylor, 2012;Selman et al, 2012). The objectives of complementary therapy include giving support and comfort, improving wellbeing and helping patients to recapture a sense of control (Browne et al, 2016). This allows for shared decision-making and the co-production of care, i.e. collaboration between service providers and users in developing and implementing care. ...
... In recent years there has been an increase in patient demand for complementary approaches (Browne et al, 2016). However, a study by Berger et al (2013) highlighted the availability of complementary therapies in palliative care services as sporadic, while a survey by Rossi et al (2015) showed variability in treatments and results offered to cancer patients across Europe. ...
... Designed explicitly for complementary therapies and evaluating supportive cancer care, the Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing ( MYCaW) questionnaire analyses patients' views and wellbeing outcomes and measures symptom management (Paterson et al, 2007). Regarded favourably, it has been extensively used and validated in a variety of studies (Paterson et al, 2007;Jolliffe et al, 2015;Browne et al, 2016). The MYCaW questionnaire is the tool used by the service in this study to evaluate treatments. ...
Involving patients in their own care is associated with improved health outcomes. Complementary therapies are popular among patients and enable them to receive the palliative care they want and need. However, the range of complementary therapy services available to patients need to be evaluated for efficacy. This study evaluated the complementary therapy services offered at one cancer outpatient clinic in the UK, with the aim of evaluating the effect of complementary therapies on patient wellbeing and to systematise concerns and categories of wellbeing in order to improve service provision. A sample of 60 patients rated their feelings of wellbeing on a Likert scale before and after a series of six complementary therapies. They were also asked which concerns they had and, after treatment, were asked about factors that may influence their wellbeing. The data were analysed quantitatively by t-test and Wilcoxon signed ranks and the results show a statistically significant improvement in wellbeing. The concerns were assigned into super categories to aid service provision and the other factors that influence general wellbeing were assessed to categorise areas of patient needs that may be addressed in patient care. These results highlight important areas for investigation, which have implications for service provision in palliative cancer care.
... Though evidence for shiatsu is limited, studies have demonstrated benefits for: stress/anxiety, pain, muscle/joint issues, migraine, ability to cope, mind-body awareness, mobility, energy and mental clarity, and sleep disturbances. (34)(35)(36)38,39,(55)(56)(57)(58)(59) These studies reported no adverse effects aside from mild, transient fatigue or achiness. (34) Shiatsu has been shown to be an intrinsically safe therapy in qualified hands (60) with numerous potential benefits. ...
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Background: Dementia is a progressive neurological condition that affects over 50 million people. It impacts quality of life for those diagnosed, their care partners, and the relationship between the two. Strategies to enhance quality of life and relationships are needed. Shiatsu may improve care partners' well-being. Using touch through shiatsu may offer a meaningful way for care partners to interact with their partners living with dementia. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore care partners' experience of using both self-shiatsu and shiatsu with their partner, as well as to explore care partners' perceptions of the impact of shiatsu on the quality of their relationship. Setting: This study took place at a centre providing programs for persons living with dementia and their care partners. Participants: Participants were current and former attendees of the centre's programs. Research design: This was a qualitative study with an interpretive/descriptive approach. Care partners were taught self-shiatsu to manage stress and a simplified, short shiatsu routine to use with their partner. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to elicit care partners' experiences and explore their ongoing use of shiatsu at two and six weeks post-workshop. Findings: Four care partners completed the study. A wide range of experiences with shiatsu were described, representing four key themes: Enhanced Awareness, Integrating Shiatsu into the Relationship, Barriers and Facilitators, and Potential and Possibility. Two found self-shiatsu beneficial. Using shiatsu with their partner was a favourable experience for only one, who found it a pleasant way to connect and interact. None of the participants felt using shiatsu with their partners affected their relationship quality. Conclusions: The findings of this study are inconclusive. Self-shiatsu may be a helpful self-management approach for some care partners, but not for others. Shiatsu for persons living with dementia may not fit into the routines of many care partners. For others, however, it may offer a means to connect.
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