Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol.58, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2021 The AuthorsObjective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Reiki on stress levels of individuals caring for patients with cancer. Methods: The study was conducted a pretest–posttest, single-blind randomized controlled trial and qualitative study using a semi-structured in-depth interview. In this study, women who were primary caregivers of patients with cancer treated in a university hospital were randomized to Reiki and sham Reiki groups. The Reiki group received Reiki to nine main points for 45 min, once a week for 6 weeks, while the sham Reiki group received the same points during the same period without starting energy flow. CSI scores and salivary cortisol levels were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study, whereas systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate were evaluated before and after application every week. After the study, the opinions of the Reiki group on Reiki experience were collected by using a questionnaire consisting of semi-structured questions. Results: The study was completed with a total of 42 caregivers. The sample size was calculated based on the difference in Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) scores before and after the intervention. According to the power analysis, with α = 0.05 and β = 0.20, the effect size was 1.71 and the power 99 %. Post-intervention CSI scores declined in the Reiki group compared with that in the sham Reiki group (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found between the groups in terms of saliva cortisol levels (p > 0.05). According to the results of the general linear model repeated measure and Friedman tests, which were conducted to evaluate the change in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate over a 6-week period, the values of these parameters decreased before and after each application compared with the caregivers in the sham Reiki group (p < 0.05). All caregivers stated that they found the caring process less stressful after the Reiki sessions and felt relieved compared with the pre-therapy period, and some of their physical complaints decreased. Conclusion: Reiki reduces the stress levels of caregivers, is effective in regulating blood pressure and pulse rate, does not cause a significant change on saliva cortisol level, and provides relief to caregivers.