Nature photographs as complementary care in chemotherapy: a randomized clinical trial

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The incidence of cancer cases is increasing worldwide, and chemotherapy is often necessary as part of the treatment for many of these cases. Nature-based interventions have been shown to offer potential benefits for human well-being. Objective: This study aims to investigate the outcome of nature images on clinical symptom management related to chemotherapy. Methods: A randomized clinical trial was conducted in an outpatient cancer unit of a private hospital in Brazil, with 173 participants over the age of 18 who were undergoing chemotherapy and had signed an informed consent form. The intervention consisted of the presentation of a 12-min video featuring nature images categorized under the themes of Tranquility, Beauty, Emotions Up, or Miscellany. Images were sourced from the e-Nature Positive Emotions Photography Database (e-NatPOEM), a publicly available collection of affectively rated images. Sociodemographic and clinical data, as well as the participants’ connection to nature, were investigated. The Positive Affect/Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) were applied pre- and post-intervention. Results: Data showed very strong evidence of a reduction in negative affect for the intervention group (p < 0.001) and moderate evidence for the control group (p = 0.034). There was also a significant reduction in the intervention group for pain (p < 0.001), tiredness (p = 0.002), sadness (p < 0.001), anxiety (p < 0.001), and appetite (p = 0.001). The Beauty video had the best performance, while the Tranquility video showed no significant improvement in any of the symptoms evaluated. These findings suggest that images of nature may be a valuable tool to help control clinical and psychological symptoms in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Catissi G, Oliveira LB, Victor ES, Savieto RM, Borba GB, Hingst-Zaher E, et al. Nature photographs as complementary care in chemotherapy: A randomized clinical trial. Int J Environ Res Pub Health. 2023 May; 20(16):6555. doi:10.3390/ijerph20166555.
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