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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Massage as therapy for persons with intellectual disabilities: a review of the literature

Review published: 2011.

Bibliographic details: Chan JS, Tse SH.  Massage as therapy for persons with intellectual disabilities: a review of the literature. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities 2011; 15(1): 47-62. [PubMed: 21576215]

Abstract

Persons with intellectual disabilities record a higher incidence of challenging behaviours than the general population. Massage therapy has frequently been applied to such persons to induce relaxation. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of massage therapy on relaxation and reduction of challenging behaviours. A literature search was conducted through various electronic databases; a total of 64 articles was generated but only seven met all inclusion criteria. These studies were evaluated in terms of (a) number of participants, (b) study setting, (c) methodology, (d) intervention pattern, (e) outcome measure of the intervention, and (f) major results. Evidence-based literature demonstrating the effectiveness of massage therapy in supporting clinical practice is extremely limited. Case study designs, large amounts of qualitative data and small sample sizes meant that the therapeutic effect of massage therapy could not be substantiated. Hence, future studies with randomized clinical trials or of experimental design are recommended.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

PMID: 21576215

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