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Aromatherapy, massage and reflexology: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of the perspectives from people with palliative care needs

Armstrong, M; Flemming, K; Kupeli, N; Stone, P; Wilkinson, S; Candy, B; (2019) Aromatherapy, massage and reflexology: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of the perspectives from people with palliative care needs. Palliative Medicine , 33 (7) pp. 757-769. 10.1177/0269216319846440. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Effectiveness evidence of complementary therapies in people with advanced disease is uncertain, and yet people are still keen to engage in complementary therapy. Insights into people's experiences of complementary therapy in palliative care, the perceived benefits, and how they want it delivered, can inform clinical guidelines and suggest ways to test therapies more appropriately in future evaluations. AIMS: Explore in people with advanced disease (1) the experiences and perceptions of benefits and harms of aromatherapy, massage, and reflexology and (2) how they would like these therapies delivered. DESIGN: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies. Database search terms were related to palliative care, aromatherapy, reflexology and massage. Citations and full texts were reviewed independently against predefined inclusion criteria. Studies were appraised for quality. This review is registered at PROSPERO (22/11/2017 CRD42017081409). DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, AMED, CINAHL, KoreaMed and ProQuest with a bibliography search to June 2018. RESULTS: Five qualitative studies in advanced cancer were identified. Three analytical themes were identified: (1) Experience during the therapy (enhanced well-being and escapism), (2) beyond the complementary therapy session (lasting benefits and overall evaluation), and (3) delivery of complementary therapy in palliative care (value of the therapist and delivery of the complementary therapy). CONCLUSIONS: People with advanced cancer experience benefits from aromatherapy, reflexology and massage including enhanced well-being, respite, and escapism from their disease. Complementary therapy interventions should be developed in consultation with the target population to ensure they are delivered and evaluated, where feasible, as they wish.

Type: Article
Title: Aromatherapy, massage and reflexology: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of the perspectives from people with palliative care needs
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0269216319846440
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0269216319846440
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Complementary therapy, advanced cancer, and thematic synthesis, aromatherapy, massage, palliative, reflexology, systematic review
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074937
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