Barlow, F., Biley, F., Lewith, G. and Walker, J., 2009. The experience of spiritual healing for women with breast cancer. In: 2009 National Cancer Research Institute conference, 4-7 October 2009, Birmingham, UK. (Unpublished)
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Official URL: http://www.ncri.org.uk/ncriconference/2009abstract...
Background After initial treatments for breast cancer (surgery, chemotherapy , radiotherapy); a majority of women will be prescribed hormonal therapy for up to 5 years. This conventional therapy has physiological side effects that include menopausal symptoms, hot flushes, joint aches, and psychological effects that include stress/ anxiety, depression and lack of motivation. Evidence suggests that a substantial number of patients seek a respite from the side effects by not taking their medication for a short period. Spiritual healing, probably the oldest documented medical intervention, is widely available and widely used, but is a neglected area of research. Whilst the exact mechanisms are not understood and healers make no claim to cure breast cancer, evidence suggests that spiritual healing as a complementary therapy could support women whose quality of life is adversely affected by the side effects of their treatments. This research investigates spiritual healing as a complementary therapy to support the effective delivery of conventional medical care for women with breast cancer who experienced adverse reactions to hormonal adjuvant therapy. Method This qualitative study offered 10 weekly healing sessions to 12 breast cancer patients who were struggling with the side effects of their hormonal treatments. Rigorous research into spiritual healing poses many methodological challenges but in using Unitary Appreciative Inquiry methodology emerging trends were verified with all participants. Findings The healing sessions alleviated many of the physiological side effects and women talked of feeling empowered or experiencing a sense of serenity, which lasted between healing sessions and for varying lengths of time after the course of healing was complete.. None of the women on the study were tempted to stop taking their hormonal treatment. Conclusion This study suggests that spiritual healing may complement conventional care and improve adherence to potentially unpleasant conventional treatments; more systematic and rigorous research is needed
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)|
|Additional Information:||Abstract B15|
Technology > Medicine and Health > Nursing and Midwifery
|Group:||School of Health and Social Care > Centre for Qualitative Research|
|Deposited By:||Dr Francis Biley LEFT|
|Deposited On:||10 May 2010 19:40|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:28|
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