With the aging baby boomer population, it is not surprising that pain management remains a critical issue for hospitals. And baby boomers are demanding alternative health care options to complement more traditional medicine, and hospitals are turning to providing massage therapy options for pain management into the team-centered approach of patient care.
In a recent research study, the effect of the use of massage therapy on inpatient pain levels in the acute care setting was studied at the Flagstaff Medical Center. Located in northern Arizona, the medical center is a nonprofit community hospital serving a large rural area. In the study of 53 inpatients, pain levels were measured before and after receiving a 30-minute massage session using a 0 – 10 visual analog scale. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used for analysis of this descriptive study.
The pain level before and after massage was significant reduced with the mean pain level recorded prior to massage at 5.18 and after massage as 2.33. Furthermore, qualitative data reflected improvement in all areas, including overall pain level, emotional well-being, relaxation, and ability to sleep.
Not surprisingly to consumers of massage, the study confirmed that including massage therapy into the acute care can create positive results for patients dealing with pain management associated with both physical and psychological aspects of their health. To see the full report titled “The Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain Management in the Acute Care Setting” by Rose Adams, MHA, BSW, LMT, Barb White, MS, LMT, Cynthia Beckett, PhD, RNC-OB, LCCE, visit http://www.ijtmb.org/index.php/ijtmb/article/view/54/96.