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PURPOSE: To review the available literature on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for cancer-related fatigue with an aim to develop directions for future research. METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and SPORTDiscus were searched for relevant studies. Original clinical trials reporting on the use of CAM treatments for cancer-related fatigue were abstracted and critically reviewed. RESULTS: CAM interventions tested for cancer-related fatigue include acupuncture, aromatherapy, adenosine triphosphate infusions, energy conservation and activity management, healing touch, hypnosis, lectin-standardized mistletoe extract, levocarnitine, massage, mindfulness-based stress reduction, polarity therapy, relaxation, sleep promotion, support group, and Tibetan yoga. Several of these interventions seem promising in initial studies. CONCLUSION: Currently, insufficient data exist to recommend any specific CAM modality for cancer-related fatigue. Therefore, potentially effective CAM interventions ready for further study in large, randomized clinical trials (eg, acupuncture, massage, levocarnitine, and the use of mistletoe) should be pursued. Other interventions should be tested in well-designed feasibility and phase II trials.

PURPOSE: To review the available literature on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for cancer-related fatigue with an aim to develop directions for future research. METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and SPORTDiscus were searched for relevant studies. Original clinical trials reporting on the use of CAM treatments for cancer-related fatigue were abstracted and critically reviewed. RESULTS: CAM interventions tested for cancer-related fatigue include acupuncture, aromatherapy, adenosine triphosphate infusions, energy conservation and activity management, healing touch, hypnosis, lectin-standardized mistletoe extract, levocarnitine, massage, mindfulness-based stress reduction, polarity therapy, relaxation, sleep promotion, support group, and Tibetan yoga. Several of these interventions seem promising in initial studies. CONCLUSION: Currently, insufficient data exist to recommend any specific CAM modality for cancer-related fatigue. Therefore, potentially effective CAM interventions ready for further study in large, randomized clinical trials (eg, acupuncture, massage, levocarnitine, and the use of mistletoe) should be pursued. Other interventions should be tested in well-designed feasibility and phase II trials.

OBJECTIVE:To assess whether a self-directed, computer-guided meditation training program is useful for stress reduction in hospital nurses. DESIGN: We prospectively evaluated participants before and after a month-long meditation program. The meditation program consisted of 15 computer sessions that used biofeedback to reinforce training. Participants were instructed to practice the intervention for 30 minutes per session, four times a week, for four weeks. Visual analogue scales were used to measure stress, anxiety, and quality of life (assessments were performed using Linear Analogue Self-Assessment [LASA], State Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI], and Short-Form 36 [SF-36] questionnaires). Differences in scores from baseline to the study's end were compared using the paired t test. RESULTS: Eleven registered nurses not previously engaged in meditation were enrolled; eight completed the study. Intent-to-treat analysis showed significant improvement in stress management, as measured by SF-36 vitality subscale (P = .04), STAI (P = .03), LASA stress (P = .01), and LASA anxiety (P = .01). Nurses were highly satisfied with the meditation program, rating it 8.6 out of 10. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this pilot study suggest the feasibility and efficacy of a biofeedback-assisted, self-directed, meditation training program to help hospital nurses reduce their stress and anxiety. Optimal frequency of use of the program, as well as the duration of effects, should be addressed in future studies.