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Emotional Freedom Techniques To Reduce The Side Effects Associated With Tamoxifen And Aromatase Inhibitor Use In Women With Breast Cancer

Citation: Baker, B., Hoffman, C., (2014). Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce the side effects associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor use in women with breast cancer: A service evaluation. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. Doi.10.1016/jeujim 2014.10.004. Abstract http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876382014003072

Abstract

Introduction: Adverse effects associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor use are the most common reason reported by women with breast cancer for discontinuing hormonal therapies. Poor compliance is associated with an increased risk of mortality and early recurrence. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for improving mood state, and secondarily, menopausal symptoms, fatigue and pain experienced by women with breast cancer receiving hormonal therapies.

Methods: Participants (n = 41) received a three-week course of EFT, consisting of one session of three hours per week, followed by use of the self-tool over the next nine weeks as required. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess mood, pain, fatigue, endocrine (menopausal) symptoms and hot flushes and night sweats, together with a hot flush diary, at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks. Participants also completed 7-day home practice sheets for the first six weeks, a feedback form at six weeks and were invited to attend a follow-up focus group at eight weeks.

Results: Statistically significant improvements in Total Mood Disturbance (p = 0.005; p = 0.008), and anxiety (p = 0.003; p = 0.028), depression (p = 0.006; p = 0.020) and fatigue (p = 0.008; p = 0.033) occurred at both 6 and 12 weeks, respectively, compared to baseline. In addition, mean fatigue interference and global scores, numbers of hot flushes and the hot flush problem rating score decreased at 6 and/or 12 weeks.

Discussion/conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that EFT may be an effective self-help tool for women with breast cancer experiencing side effects from hormonal therapies. © 2014 Published by Elsevier GmbH.

Editor’s Note

A very important paper that I believe helps to open the doors to a more integrative approach for the use of EFT beyond the scope of what has yet been studied, with regards to its application for complementary use with medically diagnosed physical conditions and its potential for symptom reduction as a result of pharmaceutical and possible surgical complications and side-effects. This study followed 41 women who received a three-week course of EFT, each weekly session being of three hours duration. The aim of the study was to see if EFT could help to improve mood as well as menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats), fatigue and pain in women who were suffering from breast cancer and receiving hormonal therapies. Given that many of the hormonal treatments for breast cancer can have significant adverse effects, this can be a key factor in determining a patients’ compliance with the therapy and have a resulting increased risk of death or early recurrence. Self-report measures were taken at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. The results revealed “Statistically significant improvements in Total Mood Disturbance, anxiety, depression and fatigue occurred at both 6 and 12 weeks, respectively, compared to baseline. In addition, mean fatigue interference and global scores, numbers of hot flushes and the hot flush problem rating score decreased at 6 and/or 12 weeks.” The authors’ conclusion was that “These preliminary findings suggest that EFT may be an effective self-help tool for women with breast cancer experiencing side effects from hormonal therapies.”