Depression, mood, stress, and Th1/Th2 immune balance in primary breast cancer patients undergoing classical massage therapy
- 1.4k Downloads
Cancer patients frequently suffer from psychological comorbidities such as depression and elevated stress. Previous studies could demonstrate that cancer patients benefit from massage therapy on the physical and psychological level. This pilot study investigates the effects of massage on depression, mood, perceived stress, and the Th1/Th2 ratio in breast cancer patients.
Thirty-four breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to a massage group (n = 17) and a control group (n = 17). Patients of the massage group received two 30-min classical massages per week for 5 weeks. At baseline, at the end of the intervention period, and 6 weeks after the end of intervention, patients of both groups completed the Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ), the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), and the Berlin Mood Questionnaire (BFS) and blood was withdrawn for determining cytokine concentrations and the Th1/Th2 ratio.
Twenty-nine patients were included in the statistical analysis. Depression (PHQ) and anxious depression (BSF) were significantly reduced immediately after massage compared to the control group. Stress (PSQ) and elevated mood (BSF) did not show significant alterations after massage therapy. Changes of cytokine concentrations and Th1/Th2 ratio were insignificant as well, although there was a slight shift towards Th1 in the massage group over time.
Massage therapy is an efficient treatment for reducing depression in breast cancer patients. Insignificant results concerning immunological parameters, stress, and mood indicate that further research is needed to determine psychological and immunological changes under massage therapy.
KeywordsMassage Breast cancer Stress Depression Cytokines Th1/Th2 immune balance
Conflict of interest
None to declare.
- 3.van't Spijker A, Trijsburg RW, Duivenvoorden HJ (1997) Psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis: a meta-analytical review of 58 studies after 1980. Psychosom Med 59(3):280–293Google Scholar
- 4.Boon HS, Olatunde F, Zick SM (2007) Trends in complementary/alternative medicine use by breast cancer survivors: comparing survey data from 1998 and 2005. BMC Womens Health 7(4):1–7Google Scholar
- 17.Wilkie DJ, Kampbell J, Cutshall S, Halabisky H, Harmon H, Johnson LP, Weinacht L, Rake-Marona M (2000) Effects of massage on pain intensity, analgesics and quality of life in patients with cancer pain: a pilot study of a randomized clinical trial conducted within hospice care delivery. Hosp J 15(3):31–53PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 21.Corner J, Cawley N, Hildebrand S (1995) An evaluation of the use of massage and essential oils on the wellbeing of cancer patients. Int J Palliat Nurs 1(2):67–73Google Scholar
- 27.Shor-Posner G, Hernandez-Reif M, Miguez MJ, Fletcher M, Quintero N, Baez J, Perez-Then E, Soto S, Mendoza R, Castillo R, Zhang G (2006) Impact of a massage therapy clinical trial on immune status in young Dominican children infected with HIV-1. J Altern Complement Med 12(6):511–516PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 28.Shor-Posner G, Miguez MJ, Hernandez-Reif M, Perez-Then E, Fletcher M (2004) Massage treatment in HIV-1 infected Dominican children: a preliminary report on the efficacy of massage therapy to preserve the immune system in children without antiretroviral medication. J Altern Complement Med 10(6):1093–1095PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 37.Hoerhold M, Klapp BF (1993) Testing the invariance and hierarchy of a multidimensional model of mood by means of repeated measurement with student and patient samples. Z Med Psychol 2:27–35Google Scholar