Treatment of radiotherapy-induced fatigue through a nonpharmacological approach

Joseph A Roscoe, Sara E Matteson, Karen M Mustian, Devi Padmanaban, Gary R Morrow
Integrative Cancer Therapies 2005, 4 (1): 8-13

BACKGROUND: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a frequently occurring, burdensome side effect of radiation therapy that can result in detrimental effects to health-related quality of life (HRQL). The findings from a pilot study examining the efficacy of the complementary and alternative practice of Polarity Therapy (PT) in reducing CRF and improving HRQL are reported.

METHODS: Fifteen women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer and experiencing fatigue were randomized to receive 1, 2, or no PT treatments. Treatments were given 1 week apart to the patients receiving 2 treatments. Fatigue and HRQL were assessed at baseline prior to PT, 3 days following the first PT treatment (week 1), and 3 days following the second PT treatment (week 2).

RESULTS: There was a statistically significant improvement in both CRF and HRQL in the 10 patients who received a PT treatment compared to the 5 control patients at the week 1 assessment. In addition, there was a statistically significant difference among the 3 treatment groups in improvement in CRF at the week 2 assessment. This finding, coupled with a visual inspection of the means, supports the plausibility of a dose response concerning PT.

CONCLUSION: Results from this pilot investigation suggest that PT may have a positive influence on CRF and HRQL in women undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer. Randomized, controlled clinical trials with larger sample sizes are needed.


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