Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is an effective adjunctive therapy in reducing depression symptoms in cancer patients.
STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs), one being modified and used a case series, from peer reviewed journals, published in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
DATA SOURCES: The studies compare the effectiveness of PMR versus other therapies such as routine nursing care and weekly visits with psychologists. All studies were found using PubMed and Cochrane Library.
OUTCOMES MEASURED: Depression symptoms perceived by the patient and measure by the Zung self-rating depression scale, Beck Depression Inventory and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale.
RESULTS: In the single-blind RCT conducted by Charalambous, et al., there was a reduction of depression symptoms with a mean change in baseline of 7.7. These results were statistically significant with a p-value of <0.0001. In the RCT, being used as a case series, conducted by Liao et al., there was a reduction of depression symptoms with a mean change in baseline of 2.86. These results were statistically significant with a p-value of <0.05. In the single-blind RCT conducted by Zhou et al., showed a statistically significant decrease in posttest depression symptoms with a p-value <0.0001 and an F score of 20.31.
CONCLUSION: The three studies in this systematic review showed a statistically significant decrease in depression symptoms in the cancer patients studied; however, the results remain inconclusive as they could be skewed by the adjunct therapies of music listening and guided imagery. Further research needs to be conducted in order to prove the effects are truly from PMR as an adjunct, such as using PMR and music therapy or guided imagery as the treatment group, and music therapy or guided imagery alone as the control group.
Nolan, Edward L., "Can Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), as an adjunctive therapy, effectively reduce depression symptoms in cancer patients?" (2021). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 606.