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Effect of massage therapy on pain, anxiety, and tension in cardiac surgical patients

Posted on 19 June, 2014 at 10:20 Comments comments (0)

Effect of massage therapy on pain, anxiety, and tension in cardiac surgical patients: a pilot study.

Cutshall SM1, Wentworth LJ, Engen D, Sundt TM, Kelly RF, Bauer BA.


To assess the role of massage therapy in the cardiac surgery postoperative period. Specific aims included determining the difference in pain, anxiety, tension, and satisfaction scores of patients before and after massage compared with patients who received standard care.


A randomized controlled trial comparing outcomes before and after intervention in and across groups.


Saint Marys Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.


Patients undergoing cardiovascular surgical procedures (coronary artery bypass grafting and/or valvular repair or replacement) (N=58).


Patients in the intervention group received a 20-minute session of massage therapy intervention between postoperative days 2 and 5. Patients in the control group received standard care and a 20-minute quiet time between postoperative days 2 and 5.


Linear Analogue Self-assessment scores for pain, anxiety, tension, and satisfaction.


Statistically and clinically significant decreases in pain, anxiety, and tension scores were observed for patients who received a 20-minute massage compared with those who received standard care. Patient feedback was markedly positive.


This pilot study showed that massage can be successfully incorporated into a busy cardiac surgical practice. These results suggest that massage may be an important therapy to consider for inclusion in the management of postoperative recovery of cardiovascular surgical patients.