The effectiveness of relaxation techniques in controlling chemotherapy induced nausea

a literature review

Ineke Mastenbroek, Louise McGovern

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to assist occupational therapists make an informed decision on the possible use of relaxation therapy in helping cancer patients cope with chemotherapy induced nausea. The aim was to review studies that have attempted to demonstrate the effectiveness of relaxation techniques in reducing the conditioned component of this type of nausea. The techniques under review included progressive muscle relaxation as a separate technique, as well as in combination with guided imagery and biofeedback or as part of a systematic desensitisation programme. The authors reviewed articles from occupational therapy, psychology, psychiatry, psychosocial, medical and nursing journals of the past decade. All the literature was reviewed by both researchers on the basis of a checklist developed by the authors to reduce any possible bias. All techniques were found to be effective in reducing nausea both before, during and after chemotherapy. It was found that no comparison could be made between the different relaxation techniques. Any limitations of the various studies were identified and recommendations made for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes

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