Author: M Hauptmann1, S Kutschan2, J Hübner3, J Dörfler2
1 Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Hämatologie und Internistische Onkologie, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Hämatologie und Internistische Onkologie, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany.
3 Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Hämatologie und Internistische Onkologie, Universitätsklinikum Jena, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany. Jutta.Huebner@med.uni-jena.de.
Conference/Journal: J Cancer Res Clin Oncol
Date published: 2022 Sep 27
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s00432-022-04362-x. , Word Count: 287
Bioenergy therapies are among the popular alternative treatment options for many diseases, including cancer. Many studies deal with the advantages and disadvantages of bioenergy therapies as an addition to established treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation in the treatment of cancer. However, a systematic overview of this evidence is thus far lacking. For this reason, the available evidence should be reviewed and critically examined to determine what benefits the treatments have for patients.
In June 2022, a systematic search was conducted searching five electronic databases (Embase, Cochrane, PsychInfo, CINAHL and Medline) to find studies concerning the use, effectiveness and potential harm of bioenergy therapies including Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch and Polarity Therapy on cancer patients.
From all 2477 search results, 21 publications with 1375 patients were included in this systematic review. The patients treated with bioenergy therapies were mainly diagnosed with breast cancer. The main outcomes measured were anxiety, depression, mood, fatigue, quality of life (QoL), comfort, well-being, neurotoxicity, pain, and nausea. The studies were predominantly of moderate quality and for the most part found no effect. In terms of QoL, pain and nausea, there were improved short-term effects of the interventions, but no long-term differences were detectable. The risk of side effects from bioenergy therapies appears to be relatively small.
Considering the methodical limitations of the included studies, studies with high study quality could not find any difference between bioenergy therapies and active (placebo, massage, RRT, yoga, meditation, relaxation training, companionship, friendly visit) and passive control groups (usual care, resting, education). Only studies with a low study quality were able to show significant effects.
Keywords: Bioenergy therapies; Complementary and alternative medicine; Healing Touch; Polarity Therapy; Reiki; Therapeutic Touch.
PMID: 36166091 DOI: 10.1007/s00432-022-04362-x