, Volume 9, Issue 2-3, pp 127-134
Date: 13 Aug 2008

Mind–Body Interventions in Oncology

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Opinion statement

A number of mind–body interventions have been studied for use with cancer patients, primarily measuring outcomes relating to pain control, anxiety reduction, and enhancing quality of life. This chapter defines the scope and characteristics of mind–body interventions, followed by a selective review of research indicating their appropriate use or cautions in cancer care. Mind–body interventions included are hypnosis, imagery/relaxation, meditation, yoga, and creative therapies. Current evidence supports the efficacy of hypnosis and imagery/relaxation for control of pain and anxiety during cancer treatments. Meditation is supported for reductions in stress and improvements in mood, quality of life, and sleep problems. There is a growing body of support for yoga from randomized controlled trials for improving quality of life, sleep, and mood. Creative therapies such as visual arts, dance, and music may help cancer patients express their feelings and cope with the demands of a cancer experience. Research on biological marker effects of mind–body therapies remains inconclusive. Study of mind–body interventions generally requires additional, methodologically rigorous investigation of how various interventions best assist patients during various phases of cancer survivorship, although a major benefit of these therapies lies in the opportunity for patients to self-select them.