PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The most important finding of the study was that intra-operative acupuncture, applied during the gynecology-oncology surgery, significantly improved high-intensity pain, as reported by patients 24 hours postoperatively. The study also showed that pre-operative manual and relaxation techniques, mainly acupressure and guided imagery, decrease post-operative anxiety levels among these patients. A similar effect was observed in patients undergoing treatment with manual/relaxation therapies prior to surgery, whether they did or did not receive intra-operative surgery.
PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The study findings support the incorporation of integrative oncology therapies in the peri-operative setting. These treatments are provided by a team of complementary medicine practitioners and acupuncturists who have undergone specialized training in integrative oncology, and can play an important role in reducing pain and anxiety in patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery. Manual and relaxation therapies should be offered to patients prior to surgery; and acupuncture should be offered during the surgery itself. There are many challenging that the integrative practitioner is required to overcome in the extremely “cramped” environment of the operating theater, coordinating treatments with the team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses.
PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future research will expand the model presented in this paper to additional cancer centers, within the framework of a multi-centered study. This research will incorporate additional study outcomes to evaluate the impact of the integrative oncology modalities, mainly acupuncture, including objective physiological parameters.
PainRelief.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: We would like to thank the Israel Cancer association for their support of our research.
Ben-Arye, E, Segev, Y, Galil, G, et al. Acupuncture during gynecological oncology surgery: a randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of integrative therapies on perioperative pain and anxiety. Cancer. 2023; 1- 12. doi:10.1002/cncr.34542
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