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Br J Gen Pract. 2003 Jan;53(486):20-5.

Randomised controlled trial of therapeutic massage in the management of stress.

Author information

1
Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust, Edenhall Hospital, Musselburgh EH21 7TZ, Scotland. janet.hanley@lpct.scot.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many patients presenting in general practice are suffering from stress. Approaches using complementary therapeies are gaining popularity but have not been systematically evaluated.

AIM:

To compare the effect of six sessions of therapeutic massage with the use of a relaxation tape on stress, as measured by The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30).

DESIGN OF STUDY:

Randomised controlled trial.

SETTING:

A stress reduction clinic in general practice.

METHOD:

There were three treatment groups. Patients in the first group received six sessions of therapeutic massage, which was carried out by a nurse trained in this technique. Patients in the second group were given six sessions using a relaxation tape in the surgery and those in the third group were given a relaxation tape to use at home. The main outcome measures were: the GHQ-30, the Adapted Well Being Index (AWBI); a sleep scale; general practitioner (GP) consultations for any reason in the six weeks before treatment, during treatment, and the six weeks following treatment; and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS:

Sixty-nine patients completed the treatment. There were significant improvements across all four outcome measures and all three treatment groups. Following treatment the majority of patients felt far less emotional disturbance, were sleeping better, and consulting their GP less.

CONCLUSION:

Despite very strong patient preference for therapeutic massage, it did not show any benefits over either a relaxation tape used in the surgery or a relaxation tape used at home.

PMID:
12564272
PMCID:
PMC1314487
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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