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Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2004 Mar;8(1):61-5.

A pilot randomized trial assessing the effects of autogenic training in early stage cancer patients in relation to psychological status and immune system responses.

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Southern Derbyshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.


Autogenic training (AT) is a type of meditation usually used for reducing stress. This pilot study describes how AT was used on a group of early stage cancer patients and the observed effect on stress-related behaviours and immune system responses. This was a randomized trial with 31 early stage breast cancer women, having received a lumpectomy and adjuvant radiotherapy. The women were randomized into two groups. Group 1 received a home visit only. Group 2 received a home visit and 2 months' weekly Autogenic training. At the beginning and end of the 2 monthly periods, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and T and B cell markers were measured to give an indication of changes in immune system responses and measurement of anxiety and depression. At the end of the study, HADS scores and T and B cell markers remained similar in the women who did not receive AT. The women receiving AT showed a strong statistical difference for an improvement in their HADS scores and those women observed in a meditative state as opposed to a relaxed state were found to have an increase in their immune responses. This study suggests AT as a powerful self-help therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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