Review of evidence-based mind body interventions for cancer pain

Dawn C. Buse, Laura A. Greve

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Complementary and alternative medicine continues to gain popularity among patients, and acceptance among health care providers and researchers as an adjunctive treatment to manage cancer related pain. In order to understand and advise patients as to the most effective treatments available while also helping them avoid potentially expensive or harmful side effects, health care providers should be familiar with evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of CAM therapies. CAM therapies are divided into five classes including "mind-body therapies." Mindbody therapies, also known as behavioral medicine, employ a variety of techniques to help patients manage pain, reduce stress, and relieve symptoms and adverse effects associated with both the illness and treatment. Interventions that fall under this category and have been systematically evaluated as to their efficacy include hypnosis, visual imagery, biofeedback, and meditation. Other psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, support groups, and patient education are commonly included as a component of comprehensive cancer treatment. This article will review the basic components and documented efficacy of the most effective mind-body therapies as they are applied to cancer pain and related symptoms. It will also provide guidance for health care providers about how to discuss and advise their patients as well as make appropriate referrals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Pain and Symptom Palliation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005


  • Biofeedback
  • Cancer
  • Guided imagery
  • Hypnosis
  • Mind-body
  • Pain
  • Psychotherapy
  • Relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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