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.
Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment
Efficacy of massage therapy for reducing pre-operative anxiety among predominantly low income minority cancer patients undergoing surgical placement of an implanted port.
Baseline (prior to first 20 min intervention) and post-intervention/pre-surgery
Jennifer E Rosen, MD, FACS
Boston Medical Center
United States: Institutional Review Board
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