Table 3: Table summarising the results of the data extraction (own illustration in alphabetical order).

AuthorDesign and sampleInterventionAssessment instrumentResultsRemark

Cassileth, Vickers, [12]Quasiexperimental study
Three groups:
(i) classic massage: 𝑛 = 5 6 0 ,
(ii) therapeutic touch: 𝑛 = 9 0 ,
(iii) foot massage: 𝑛 = 5 8 5 .
Three sessions lasting 30 minutes each with institutionalised patients and lasting 60 minutes with patients living at home.(i) VAS (for measuring pain, fatigue, stress/anxiety, nausea, and depression)Immediate effect:
(i) VAS (reduction of pain):
mean average value of change −1.7 ( S D ± 2 ); 𝑃 = 0 . 0 5
(ii) VAS (reduction of anxiety): mean average value of change −2.8 ( S D ± 2 . 5 )
(iii) VAS (reduction of depression): mean average value of change −1.2 ( S D ± 1 . 9 )
VAS >4: highest effect (mean average value of change: pain: −2.9; anxiety: −4; depression: −3)
No randomisation

Downey et al., [17]Randomised controlled study
Three groups:
(i) massage: 𝑛 = 5 6 ,
(ii) meditation: 𝑛 = 5 6 ,
(iii) control group: 𝑛 = 5 5 .
35-minute massage therapy or meditation(i) MSAS (Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale): immediate pain reduction(i) MSAS (immediate pain reduction): 𝑃 = 0 . 5 7 3
Massage therapy does not show a statistically significant reduction of pain.

Jane et al.; [18]Observational study:
(i) Intervention group:
𝑛 = 3 0
Administration of a full-body massage. Duration: 45 minutes.(i) PPI-VAS (present pain intensity using a vertical visual analogue scale: immediate change of pain intensity)
(ii) MSF-MPQ (Short-Form McGrill Pain Questionnaire and the Brief Pain Inventory): Quality and localisation of pain
(iii) VAS (Anxiety-VAS)
Immediate effect:
(i) PPI-VAS: 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 1
(ii) VAS: 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 1
Medium-term effect:
(i) PPI-VAS and VAS at 15 minutes: 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 2
(ii) PPI-VAS and VAS at 20 minutes: 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 0
Long-term effect (at 16–18 hours postintervention)
(i) MSF-MPQ for pain quality: 𝑃 = 0 . 0 8
(ii) MSF-MPQ for pain localisation: 𝑃 = 0 . 0 4
Control group missing

Kutner et al., [13]Multicentred randomised clinical study and meta-analytical trial
Two groups:
(i) intervention group: 𝑛 = 1 8 8 ,
(ii) control group: 𝑛 = 1 9 2 .
Six full-body massages administered within two weeks. Duration: 30 minutes each.Immediate effect:
(i) MPAC (Memorial Pain Assessment Card 0–10 scale): Immediate change in pain
(ii) MPAC (Memorial Pain Assessment Card 0–10 scale): Immediate and lasting effect of mood
Long-term effect:
(i) BPI (Brief Pain Inventory BPI 0–10 scale): Long-term change in pain
Immediate effect:
(i) MPAC (pain): mean average value of change −1.87
(ii) MPAC (mood): mean average value of change −1.58
Long-term effect:
(i) BPI (mean average value of pain): mean average value of change −0.33
(ii) BPI (maximum pain intensity): mean average value of change −0.74
(iii) BPI (pain interference): mean average value of change −0.33

Osaka et al., [19]Observational study
(i) Intervention group: 𝑛 = 3 4
5-minute massage of the upper extremitiesImmediate effect
(i) STAI-state-score: Perception of anxiety
Immediate effect
(i) STAI-state-score: 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1
Control group missing

Wilkie et al., [16]Randomised controlled pilot study
Two groups:
(i) intervention group: 𝑛 = 1 5 ,
(ii) control group: 𝑛 = 1 4 .
Full-body massage twice a week over a period of two weeks. Duration: 45 minutes.(i) PAT (Pain Assessment Tool, 0–10 Scale)Immediate effect
(i) PAT: 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 (after the first and third massages); 𝑃 < 0 . 0 9 (after the fourth massage)
Long-term effect (at two weeks postintervention)
(i) Perception of pain: transition from constant pain to intermittent episodes of pain in 14% of the patients
(ii) Intensity of pain: 𝑃 > 0 . 2 6 ; reduction of pain in 42% of the patients