Complementary therapies are becoming a recognised adjunctin cancer care as they address the psychological burden of coping with cancer. When provided in addition to standard treatments they can help provide patient centred holistic care. Patients with pituitary conditions may develop debilitating symptoms that are not easily addressed despite appropriate medical treatment.
Aim: To determine whether Complementary therapies lead to improvements in Quality of life in a group of Pituitary patients.
Method: A randomised control study involving 42 patients with a pituitary disease for at least 6 months. Of the 42 patients, 24 were offered therapy at start with a further 18 patients in the control group. The patients in the control group were offered access to therapies after a 4 months delay. The Nottingham Health Profile questionnaire was used to compare the quality of life in the two groups at 4 months intervals throughout the study. The therapies offered included Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Cranio-sacral therapy.
Results: Total quality of life score showed a significant improvement at 12 months with complementary therapy (P value = 0.01). Though the sample size was small, sub-analysis of the individual quality of life parameters, showed a significant improvement at 12 months in physical mobility (P=0.04) and a positive trend in pain reduction scores (P=0.05) in the complementary therapy group.
All participants who had therapy gave positive feedback with all patients feeling that they had benefited from the therapy and would consider continuing on long-term basis.
Conclusion: This is one of the first studies to show a link between complementary therapy and symptom reduction in pituitary patients. This opens up opportunities for further research in combined therapies, compared to conventional treatments.