Progressive relaxation training in patients with breast cancer receiving aromatase inhibitor therapy-randomized controlled trial

Bahçaci U., Uysal S. A., Iyigün Z. E., Ordu Ç., Soybir G. R., Ozmen V.

PLoS ONE, vol.19, no.4 April, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 4 April
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0301020
  • Journal Name: PLoS ONE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Psycinfo, zbMATH, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background Aromatase inhibitors have positive impacts on the disease-free life of patients with breast cancer. However, their side effects, especially arthralgia, may be experienced by many patients. This study sought to assess the efficacy of Progressive Relaxation Exercises on the prevalent side effects of Aromatase Inhibitors in patients with breast cancer. Materials and methods This clinical trial was conducted with single-blind randomization at a physiotherapy department in a local hospital. Patients who received Aromatase Inhibitor were assigned at random to either the study or control group. The study group (n = 22) performed a Progressive Relaxation Exercises program four days a week for six weeks, while the control group (n = 22) received advice on relaxation for daily life. Data was collected before the intervention and after six weeks. The study's primary endpoint was the Brief Pain Inventory, which was used to measure pain severity. Secondary endpoints included assessments of quality of life and emotional status, which were measured using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scales, respectively. Results The study group exhibited a significant reduction in Pain Severity (p = 0.001) and Pain Interference (p = 0.012) sub-scores. Reduction in Pain Severity (p<0.001) and Patient Pain Experience (p = 0.003) sub-scores was also noted between the groups. Quality of Life and Emotional Status showed no significant variation both within and between the groups (p>0.05). Conclusion The study demonstrated that Progressive Relaxation Exercises caused a significant reduction in pain scores among Breast Cancer patients receiving Aromatase Inhibitors. While a decrease in pain during the 6-week period is valuable data, it is necessary to monitor the long-term effects of relaxation techniques.