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Research & Studies

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce the side effects associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor use in women with breast cancer: A service evaluation

Citation (APA Style): 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, 7(2), 136-142.

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.

Key Words

Breast cancer, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Adjuvant hormonal therapies, Side effects.