Send to

Choose Destination
Pflege. 2006 Jun;19(3):163-73.

[Literature review of back massage and similar techniques to promote sleep in elderly people].

[Article in German]

Author information

Universität Witten/Herdecke, Institut für Pflegewissenschaft, Frankfurt.


Insomnia is a frequent problem among elderly people. As a consequence, sedative hypnotic drugs are prescribed very often that can lead to problematic effects. As an alternative to sedative hypnotic drugs nurses use relaxing interventions to promote sleep. One of these techniques, the back massage, is very popular because of the expected relaxing effect of touch. Against this background, this review includes 16 surveys of the international nursing literature and the German literature until the year 2004, that analyse the most common intervention in Germany, the "Atemstimulierende Einreibung" (similar to Effleurage). These studies are presented and evaluated. The results indicate that these interventions promote relaxation and sleep and that they are perceived as very pleasant by the elderly. However; they do not explain in detail the reasons for effects these and the role of touch. This review shows that further research (RCTs) is necessary to determine the effects of back massage and "Atemstimulierende Einreibung" on relaxation and sleep.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center