Objective: Methodological reflection on the content, results and limitations of three body-mind intervention studies with cancer patients (CPs) in order to improve the quality of studies on body-mind interventions and to raise the potential value for CPs. Methods: A secondary analysis of a study on haptotherapy and two studies applying relaxing face massage, using a variety of well-being effect measures. Six methodological themes are discussed: (1) drop-out; (2) characteristics of participating patients, (3) participation of patients in other complementary interventions; (4) satisfaction of participants; (5) effects of the three interventions, and (6) role of response shift. Results: The three interventions showed limited effects after controlling for relevant confounding factors. They are mainly the small sample sizes, the low intensity of the intervention, the possible inadequate measure moments and the use of other CAM that may be responsible for the absence of effects. Conclusions: Body-mind interventions require more methodological reflections to develop attractive and effective interventions for CPs. Attention needs to be paid to measuring short term effects, practically fitting research designs, and response shift. Practice implications: Interventions should be intensive, repeated and not too short. The implementation of interventions requires attention to several organizational factors in the health care.

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Keywords Body-mind interventions, Cancer patients, Haptotherapy, Methodology, Quality of life, Relaxing face massage, Well-being, adult, alternative medicine, article, body mind intervention, cancer patient, female, haptotherapy, human, major clinical study, male, massage, methodology, patient information, patient participation, patient satisfaction, priority journal, quality of life, relaxation training, relaxing face massage, therapy effect, treatment response, wellbeing
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2010.12.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/23815