The effect of massage therapy on the quality of sleep in breast cancer patients.
Annually, about 6000 new cases are diagnosed with breast cancer in Iran. In Iran, more women are affected with breast cancer than a decade earlier in comparison with other countries, and 70% of them are diagnosed at an advanced phase. Insomnia is the most common disorder following breast cancer, and interference in sleep quality and rest causes changes in physiological functions and reduces the body’s daily performance. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of massage therapy on the quality of sleep in patients with breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This clinical trial was conducted for about 1 month in a referral chemotherapy clinic of a teaching hospital in Isfahan, Iran. The participants consisted of 57 women with breast cancer who were selected by simple random sampling. They were randomly assigned to two groups of control and experimental. The control group was treated only by usual medical therapy, whereas the case group was treated by combined medical-massage therapy. Data collection tools were the validated Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and a demographic questionnaire. Data were analyzed by SPSS using descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, paired t-test, and Student’s t-test.
The results showed significant differences in the mean scores of quality of sleep before and after the intervention in the case group, while no significant differences were observed in the mean scores of quality of sleep before and after the intervention in the control group. In addition, no significant differences were observed in the mean scores of quality of sleep before the intervention between case and control groups. However, significant differences were observed in the mean scores of quality of sleep after the intervention between case and control groups.
According to the results of this study, learning and applying massage techniques by medical staff causes health promotion and improves the quality of sleep in cancer patients. Furthermore, massage therapy is suggested as a non-pharmacologic method to improve sleep quality in these patients.