Does Jacobson's relaxation technique reduce consumption of psychotropic and analgesic drugsin cancer patients? A multicenter pre-post intervention study
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AuthorParás Bravo, Paula; Alonso Blanco, Cristina; Paz Zulueta, María; Palacios Ceña, Domingo; Sarabia Cobo, Carmen María; Herrero Montes, Manuel; Boixadera Planas, Ester; Fernández de las Peñas, César
Background: Cancer patients often suffer from emotional distress as a result of the oncological process. The purpose of
our study was to determine whether practice of Jacobson?s relaxation technique reduced consumption of psychotropic
and analgesic drugs in a sample of cancer patients.
Methods: This was a multicenter pre?post intervention design. Participants were 272 patients aged over 18 years
attending 10 Spanish public hospitals with oncological pathologies and anxiety symptoms. The intervention
consisted of a protocol of abbreviated progressive muscle relaxation training developed by Bernstein and Borkovec.
This was followed up by telephone calls over a 1-month period. The intervention was performed between November
2014 and October 2015. Sociodemographic variables related to the oncological process, mental health variables, and
intervention characteristics were measured.
Results: A reduction in the consumption of psychotropic and analgesic drugs was observed throughout the follow-up
period. Improvement was observed throughout the 4-week follow-up for all the parameters assessed: anxiety,
relaxation, concentration, and mastery of the relaxation technique.
Conclusions: The practice of abbreviated Jacobson?s relaxation technique can help to decrease the consumption of
psychotropic and analgesic drugs. Patients experienced positive changes in all the evaluated parameters, at least during
the 1-month follow-up. To confirm these findings, additional long-term studies are needed that include control groups.
Trial registration: ISRCTN 81335752, DOI 10.1186/ISRCTN81335752 17.
Date of registration: 22/11/2016 (retrospectively registered).
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