Wilkinson, S., Barnes, K., & Storey, L. (2008). Massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer: Systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 63, 430–439.doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04712.x
To assess the evidence regarding massage as a means of improving the physical and psychological well-being of patients with cancer
After elimination of duplicates from the initial search, investigators considered 1,321 references. Of these, investigators chose 10 studies for analysis, using the Jadad scoring approach and CONSORT Statement to appraise study quality. Investigators also used sample size and duration of follow-up to evaluate studies. Given the range of massage techniques and patients, meta-analysis was impossible. Three investigators reviewed studies independently.
The authors stated that results were inconclusive; however, reported results showed that massage had a preponderantly positive effect in regard to anxiety reduction.
Two studies included in the review used a crossover design, and one of these showed significant results after massage but not after the control period. This suggests that crossover design may be particularly applicable to this area of research and that the effects of massage are immediate and time sensitive.