Objective: To evaluate patient-perceived benefits from receiving Reiki at a cancer infusion center.
Methods: During a 6-month period, adults at a university hospital receiving Reiki through volunteer services were invited to complete a survey asking about perceived changes after Reiki. Changes in pain, mood, distress, sleep, and appetite were rated on a 5-point scale from no benefit to great benefit. Surveys were distributed after completing treatment and were returned in postage-paid envelops.
Results: A total of 145 surveys were completed (34.5% response rate), with 47 participants seen in the cancer infusion center and 98 in other areas of the hospital. Reiki was rated as a positive experience by 94% at the cancer center and 93% of others, with 92% at the cancer center and 86% of others interested in receiving additional Reiki sessions. Symptomatic improvement was similar for people at the cancer center and others, respectively, with much to great improvement for 89% and 86% for relaxation, 75% and 75% for anxiety/worry, 81% and 78% for improved mood, 43% and 35% for improved sleep, 45% and 49% for reduced pain, 38% and 43% for reduced isolation/loneliness, 75% and 63% for improved attitude, and 30% and 30% for improved appetite. Response was unaffected by previous exposure to Reiki, massage, or other touch therapy.
Conclusion: Reiki results in a broad range of symptomatic benefits, including improvements in common cancer-related symptoms.