Acupuncture during gynecological oncology surgery: A randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of integrative therapies on perioperative pain and anxiety

Eran Ben-Arye*, Yakir Segev, Galit Galil, Inbal Marom, Orit Gressel, Nili Stein, Irena Hirsh, Noah Samuels, Meirav Schmidt, Elad Schiff, Irina Lurie, Ofer Lavie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In this study, the impact of a multimodal integrative oncology pre- and intraoperative intervention on pain and anxiety among patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery was explored. Methods: Study participants were randomized to three groups: Group A received preoperative touch/relaxation techniques, followed by intraoperative acupuncture; Group B received preoperative touch/relaxation only; and a control group (Group C) received standard care. Pain and anxiety were scored before and after surgery using the Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing (MYCAW) and Quality of Recovery (QOR-15) questionnaires, using Part B of the QOR to assess pain, anxiety, and other quality-of-life parameters. Results: A total of 99 patients participated in the study: 45 in Group A, 25 in Group B, and 29 in Group C. The three groups had similar baseline demographic and surgery-related characteristics. Postoperative QOR-Part B scores were significantly higher in the treatment groups (A and B) when compared with controls (p =.005), including for severe pain (p =.011) and anxiety (p =.007). Between-group improvement for severe pain was observed in Group A compared with controls (p =.011). Within-group improvement for QOR depression subscales was observed in only the intervention groups (p <0.0001). Compared with Group B, Group A had better improvement of MYCAW-reported concerns (p =.025). Conclusions: A preoperative touch/relaxation intervention may significantly reduce postoperative anxiety, possibly depression, in patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery. The addition of intraoperative acupuncture significantly reduced severe pain when compared with controls. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and better understand the impact of intraoperative acupuncture on postoperative pain. Plain language summary: Integrative oncology programs are increasingly becoming part of supportive/palliative care, with many working within the Society for Integrative Oncology. This study examined the impact of a multimodal integrative oncology program on pain and anxiety among 99 patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery. Participants were randomized to three groups: preoperative touch/relaxation treatments, followed by intraoperative acupuncture; preoperative touch/relaxation without acupuncture; and a control group receiving standard care only. The preoperative touch/relaxation intervention significantly reduced perioperative anxiety, with the addition of intraoperative acupuncture significantly reducing severe pain as well, when compared with controls. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-919
Number of pages12
JournalCancer
Volume129
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
Michael Gretz
Pesi Israeli
Walid Saliba
Israel Cancer Association20180006

    Keywords

    • acupuncture
    • anxiety
    • gynecological oncology
    • integrative medicine
    • integrative oncology
    • pain
    • peri-operative

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