Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Kristin McHale DNP, RN

Third Advisor

T.J. Scheffler-Hanson, RN


Patients diagnosed with cancer experience many symptoms including pain and anxiety. As these patients move through various treatments and their disease progresses, symptoms of anxiety can increase. In an Early Cancer Therapeutics Program at a large Midwestern academic tertiary care center, patients with advanced cancer are offered additional treatment options through enrollment in phase 1 clinical trials. These patients often have increased anxiety related to not only the progression of their disease but also this final attempt to bring their disease into control. There remains a need for nursing to recognize and be involved in the treatment of anxiety in patients with advanced cancer; and a need to have a systematic and consistent way to capture anxiety scores in this patient population. The use of complementary and alternative medicine, including the energy therapy of Reiki, has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety scores. Utilizing the concepts of presence and consciousness from Margaret Newman’s Health as Expanding Conscious (HEC) Theory (1999) as a guide, this project focused on steps to integrate Reiki therapy into an early cancer therapeutics program to lessen anxiety, decrease pain, and increase the overall sense of well-being of the patient with advanced cancer undergoing treatment in a phase 1 clinical trial. Nursing presence can enhance the nurse- client relationship while they work together to manage cancer related symptoms, including anxiety.


SC 11.MAN.2020.Boe.G