The Effects of Reiki Therapy and Companionship on Quality of Life, Mood, and Symptom Distress During Chemotherapy

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Abstract

This pilot study examined the effects of Reiki therapy and companionship on improvements in quality of life, mood, and symptom distress during chemotherapy. Thirty-six breast cancer patients received usual care, Reiki, or a companion during chemotherapy. First, data were collected from patients receiving usual care. Second, patients were randomized to either receive Reiki or a companion during chemotherapy. Questionnaires assessing quality of life, mood, symptom distress, and Reiki acceptability were completed at baseline and chemotherapy sessions 1, 2, and 4. Reiki was rated relaxing with no side effects. Reiki and companion groups reported improvements in quality of life and mood that were greater than those seen in the usual care group. Interventions during chemotherapy, such as Reiki or companionship, are feasible, acceptable, and may reduce side effects.

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