Investigation of State and Trait Anxiety in Oncology Patients Receiving Therapeutic Massage during Chemotherapy
Spring, Sydney J.
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Anxiety can play a large role in the lives of patients who have been recently diagnosed with cancer. The field of medicine is starting to incorporate complementary and alternative approaches to improve the quality of life for patients. Patients diagnosed with cancer often undergo chemotherapy, which can create large amounts of anxiety on top of the diagnosis. Therapeutic massage is the manipulation of soft tissues to enhance well-being and decrease symptom distress. Therapeutic massage was administered to participants while they received chemotherapy during either their first or second appointment. The participants also completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) before and after chemotherapy. The questionnaire consisted of 20 state and 20 trait questions, which were used to record average mean State and Trait Anxiety. Data from 44 participants with cancer were analyzed by a one-way ANOVA. The results show that massage therapy reduces the level of anxiety in participants when comparing pre and post- chemotherapy anxiety for participants who received a massage on their first chemotherapy visit. Mean State Anxiety was found to be statistically significant. Participants who received a massage during their second visit did not have significantly reduced stress levels. A larger sample size may give significant results for each grouping. Massage therapy offers patients a risk-free relaxation tool that can impact the quality of their lives at all stages of their cancer illness.