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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2014 Feb;31(1):6-12. doi: 10.1177/1049909113476568. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Integrating massage therapy within the palliative care of veterans with advanced illnesses: an outcome study.

Author information

1
1VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Abstract

AIMS:

To describe the integration of massage therapy into a palliative care service and to examine the relationship between massage and symptoms in patients with advanced illnesses.

METHODS:

Between April 1, 2009, and July 31, 2010, 153 patients received massage at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System. Data on pain, anxiety, dyspnea, relaxation, and inner peace were collected pre and post massage. Diagnoses, chronic pain, and social support were also abstracted. Analysis of covariance was used to examine changes over time.

RESULTS:

All short-term changes in symptoms showed improvement and all were statistically significant. Pain intensity decreased by 1.65 (0-10 scale, P < .001), anxiety decreased by 1.52 (0-10 scale, P < .001), patients' sense of relaxation increased by 2.92 (0-10 scale, P < .001), and inner peace improved by 1.80 (0-10 scale, P < .001).

CONCLUSION:

Massage is a useful tool for improving symptom management and reducing suffering in palliative care patients.

KEYWORDS:

massage therapy; pain management; palliative care; symptom control

PMID:
23423774
DOI:
10.1177/1049909113476568
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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