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J Res Med Sci. 2019 Aug 28;24:71. doi: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_734_18. eCollection 2019.

Impact of hot stone massage therapy on sleep quality in patients on maintenance hemodialysis: A randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Department of Medical/Surgical Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty of Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Patient Safety Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.



Many patients on maintenance hemodialysis experience sleep disorders. This problem is related to depression, anxiety, hospitalizations, chronic medical conditions, decreased quality of life, and increasing mortality rate in patients on maintenance hemodialysis. The objective of this research is to determine the impact of massage therapy by hot stone on quality of sleep in patients on maintenance hemodialysis.

Materials and Methods:

This was a randomized controlled trial conducted on 60 patients on maintenance hemodialysis. They were assigned via random allocation process into two groups of study: intervention group (n = 30), or control group (n = 30). Patients in the experimental group received massage therapy by hot basalt stone for 12 séances. During the massage therapy, each of five basalt stones were placed at the sites of the fifth, fourth, third, second, and first chakra. Control group received their treatment as usual without any massage therapy. Using Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the global score and its components were computed in both groups of study, two times (before the intervention and 1 month after the intervention).


Although there were not any baseline differences between the two groups of study for the mean of global PSQI score (P = 0.92) before the study, the mean of global PSQI score in the intervention group, after the intervention decreased to 5.7 ± 3.06, but in the control group sleep quality increased to 10.7 ± 3.6. The difference between the mean of global score of PSQI among two groups of study after the massage therapy was statistically significant (P < 0.001).


Applying massage therapy by hot stone in hemodialysis patients may contribute in enhancing their quality of sleep.


Complementary; hemodialysis; massage; sleep

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