Effects of Anma therapy (Japanese massage) on health-related quality of life in gynecologic cancer survivors: A randomized controlled trial

PLoS One. 2018 May 3;13(5):e0196638. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196638. eCollection 2018.

Abstract

Objectives: Anma therapy (Japanese massage therapy, AMT) significantly reduces the severity of physical complaints in survivors of gynecologic cancer. However, whether this reduction of severity is accompanied by improvement in health-related quality of life is unknown.

Methods: Forty survivors of gynecologic cancer were randomly allocated to either an AMT group that received one 40-min AMT session per week for 8 weeks or a no-AMT group. We prospectively measured quality of life by using the Japanese version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 version 3.0 (EORTC QLQ-C30) at baseline and at 8-week follow-up. The QLQ-C30 response rate was 100%. Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), Profile of Mood States (POMS), and Measure of Adjustment to Cancer were also prespecified and prospectively evaluated.

Results: The QLQ-C30 Global Health Status and Quality of Life showed significant improvement at 8 weeks (P = 0.042) in the AMT group compared with the no-AMT group, and the estimated mean difference reached a minimal clinically important difference of 10 points (10.4 points, 95% CI = 1.2 to 19.6). Scores on fatigue and insomnia showed significant improvement in the AMT group compared with the no-AMT group (P = 0.047 and 0.003, respectively). There were no significant between-group improvements in HADS anxiety and depression scales; however, POMS-assessed anger-hostility showed significant improvement in the AMT group compared with the no-AMT group (p = 0.028).

Conclusions: AMT improved health-related quality of life in gynecologic cancer survivors. AMT can be of potential benefit for applications in oncology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female* / psychology
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Massage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors* / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome

Grant support

This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid (No. 22531058) for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, 2010-2014 (PI: Nozomi Donoyama). The funder provided support in the form of research expenses, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of the authors are articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section. One of the authors (TH) runs a commercial company P4 Statistics Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. However, this organization has nothing to do with our research. TH privately took part in our present trial as one of our research colleagues, who was assigned statistical analysis without charge. TH provided his statistical ability with our study as one of our research colleagues, as opposed to financial support and research materials for this research. Thus, the organization did not play a role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.