Exploring the value of shiatsu in palliative care day services
7 April 2008
This qualitative study sought to evaluate the effects of shiatsu therapy on clients attending hospice day services. Eleven clients with advanced progressive disease received five therapy sessions each at weekly intervals. Data about the effects was collected through five unstructured interviews with each client. Four of these were conducted before, during, and shortly after the therapy regime, and the fifth was undertaken four weeks after treatment ended. All the interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and subject to content analysis.
The results of the analysis revealed significant improvements in energy levels, relaxation, confidence, symptom control, clarity of thought and mobility. These benefits were of variable duration - in some instances lasting a few hours but in others extending beyond the 5-week treatment regime. Action to ensure research trustworthiness included keeping research journals to provide an audit trail, conducting member checks and using peer debriefing. The study involved three overlapping cohorts of participants in a data collection period that took approximately 6 months.