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Effect of Massage Therapy on Preoperative Anxiety and Postoperative Pain in Cancer Patients Undergoing Port Implantation

Phase 1
18 Years
Not Enrolling
Cancer, Anxiety, Pain, Surgery

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Trial Information

Effect of Massage Therapy on Preoperative Anxiety and Postoperative Pain in Cancer Patients Undergoing Port Implantation

Despite major advances in the understanding of cancer and its treatment, patients continue
to suffer greatly. Massage is now included in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
guidelines for the treatment of refractory cancer pain (1), and many cancer patients are
turning to massage and other complementary therapies to help alleviate both their
psychological and physical symptoms. However, complementary therapies, such as massage, are
often unaffordable or unavailable to predominantly low-income cancer patients at safety net
hospitals like Boston Medical Center.

The vast majority of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy undergo implantation of a
permanent central venous access device, often referred to as a port implantation or
implanted port. Although the implanted port carries multiple benefits for ease of
treatment, after the procedure patients often complain of headaches, muscle stiffness and
neck and shoulder pain that lasts for several days. Pain medication is the only therapy
commonly offered for this and is often inadequate (2). Furthermore, since this is often the
first surgical procedure for cancer patients at the beginning of their treatment, they often
have significant levels of pre-procedure anxiety (3,4). Safe, efficacious, and
cost-effective interventions that can reduce the anxiety and pain related to port
implantation are needed.

This pilot study will look at how feasible and effective massage therapy is in reducing
pre-operative anxiety and post-operative pain among BMC patients already undergoing surgical
placement of an implanted port.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients must be adults within one month of diagnosis with any form of cancer.

- Patients must be scheduled to undergo, but have not yet received, port implantation.

- Patients must have the ability to understand and sign a written informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients who are unable or unwilling to provide consent.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Efficacy of massage therapy for reducing pre-operative anxiety among predominantly low income minority cancer patients undergoing surgical placement of an implanted port.

Outcome Time Frame:

Baseline (prior to first 20 min intervention) and post-intervention/pre-surgery

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Jennifer E Rosen, MD, FACS

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Boston Medical Center


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

February 2009

Completion Date:

October 2011

Related Keywords:

  • Cancer
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Surgery
  • Discomfort
  • Port-a-Catheters
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Massage
  • Anxiety Disorders



Boston Medical Center - Ambulatory SurgeryBoston, Massachusetts  02118