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Complement Ther Med. 2005 Jun;13(2):107-14.

The psychological well-being and self-efficacy of carers of children with disabilities following attendance on a simple massage training and support programme: a 12-month comparison study of adherers and non-adherers.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Health, School of Health and Social Sciences, Coventry University, Whitefriars 104, Priory Street, Coventry, UK.



The Training and Support Programme (TSP) is an 8-week programme in which carers of children with disabilities receive instruction in simple massage techniques to use with their child. The aims of the present study were firstly to compare, adherers and non-adherers on measures of psychological well-being and self-efficacy and secondly, to examine whether, for adherers, the positive benefits of attending the TSP reported immediately after the Programme were maintained at 12-month follow-up.


Eighty-two carers took part in the study. Data were collected 12-months after completion of the TSP by self-report questionnaires mailed to carers. For comparisons between adherers and non-adherers at 12-month follow-up a between-groups design was used. For comparisons over time, a within-subjects design was used.


Adherers had significantly higher levels of self-efficacy for managing their child's psychosocial well-being, self-efficacy for carrying out the massage, and significantly better psychological well-being at follow-up compared to non-adherers. Furthermore, there were no significant differences over time on self-efficacy for managing their child's psychosocial well-being, self-efficacy for giving massage and levels of anxiety and depression at 12-month follow-up for adherers, suggesting that their improvements noted immediately post-programme were maintained at follow-up. Significant decreases on self-efficacy and depression were noted for non-adherers and there was a trend towards deterioration in anxious mood.


In conclusion, the present study suggests that the positive benefits the TSP has for carers of children with disabilities can be maintained if carers continue to practise the massage at home with their child.

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