Treatment Effects of Massage Therapy in Depressed People: A Meta-Analysis

Article (PDF Available)inThe Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 71(7):894-901 · March 2010with233 Reads
DOI: 10.4088/JCP.09r05009blu · Source: PubMed
To systematically investigate the treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people by incorporating data from recent studies. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of massage therapy in depressed people was conducted using published studies from PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL electronic database from inception until July 2008. The terms used for the search were derived from medical subheading term (MeSH) massage combined with MeSH depression. Hand searching was also checked for bibliographies of relevant articles. Retrieval articles were constrained to RCTs/clinical trials and human subjects. No language restrictions were imposed. We included 17 studies containing 786 persons from 246 retrieved references. Trials with other intervention, combined therapy, and massage on infants or pregnant women were excluded. Two reviewers independently performed initial screen and assessed quality indicators by Jadad scale. Data were extracted on publication year, participant characteristics, and outcomes by another single reviewer. All trials showed positive effect of massage therapy on depressed people. Seventeen RCTs were of moderate quality, with a mean quality score of 6.4 (SD = 0.85). The pooled standardized mean difference in fixed- and random-effects models were 0.76 (95% CI, 0.61-0.91) and 0.73 (95% CI, 0.52-0.93), respectively. Both indicated significant effectiveness in the treatment group compared with the control group. The variance between these studies revealed possible heterogeneity (tau(2) = 0.06, Cochran chi-squared(16) = 25.77, P = .06). Massage therapy is significantly associated with alleviated depressive symptoms. However, standardized protocols of massage therapy, various depression rating scales, and target populations in further studies are suggested.
    • "One proposed hypothesis offered for the underlying effectiveness of massage is that it triggers a reduction of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA), which results in decreasing stress hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate due to increasing parasympathetic activity (Morhenn et al., 2012). In a recent meta-analysis investigating the treatment effect of massage therapy on depression, Hou et al. (2010) conclude that strong evidence exists for its benefits. Other studies examining the MT/HPA connection conclude that both a single session of Swedish massage and repeated massage produces measurable biological effects and may have an effect on the immune system (Rapaport et al., 2010Rapaport et al., , 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This dissertation introduces an original preliminary treatment manual as a guide for mental health providers interested in adding a research-informed massage therapy component to traditional child trauma psychotherapy.Child Massage Integrated Therapy (CMIT) offers a standardized protocol to support the implementation of a replicable treatment modality that fosters critical somatic resources for traumatized children within real-world settings. The multidisciplinary field of interpersonal neurobiology, including attachment and polyvagal theories, as well as the concept of interoceptive awareness, are the theoretical constructs informing the proposed model of care. A review of the research literature recognizing massage therapy's role in creating a regulating mind/body experience provides the fundamental basis for pursuing this line of intervention as a component of a phase-oriented psychological trauma treatment.
    Article · May 2016
    • "Another promising CAM therapy candidate for treating perinatal depression is massage. Massage has shown to be effective in decreasing depression symptoms in the general population (Hou, Chiang, Hsu, Chiu, & Yen, 2010), and these findings appear to generalize to perinatal samples as well. Tiffany Field and her colleagues have conducted a number of RCTs that have provided support for the positive effects of massage on women with perinatal depression, including lower levels of prenatal depression, lower levels of postnatal depression , lower rates of premature birth, and higher infant scores on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scales (e.g., Field, Diego, Hernandez‐Reif, Deeds, & Figueiredo, 2009; Field, Diego, Hernandez‐Reif, Schanberg, & Kuhn, 2004; Field et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychological interventions such as interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and nondirective counseling are effective interventions for postnatal depression. Less work has addressed perinatal anxiety and antenatal depression. Preventive interventions, delivered during pregnancy or soon after delivery, also have been found to be effective for high-risk women. Pharmacologic treatments are widely used during both pregnancy and the postpartum period. Few randomized trials have evaluated antidepressant medication, but their wide use in practice and observational studies suggest that they are as effective. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions are increasingly preferred by perinatal women, and early research suggests that many of them will prove to be efficacious. Pathways to care are diverse around the world. Collaborative care entails the coordination of primary care (general practice, obstetrics) and mental health care to ensure that perinatal women receive needed mental health care. The maternal-child health-care system is another venue for the delivery of mental health care through the direct delivery of brief counseling to depressed perinatal women in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries. Although much progress has been made in delivering mental health care to perinatal women, access to this care remains a challenge around the world.
    Full-text · Chapter · Apr 2015
    • "The results of this study showed that massage therapy has significantly reduced symptoms in individuals with depression over a period of two months. This result is consistent with the result of the study Hamre et al., (2006), Hou et al., (2010, Cassileth and Vickers (2004), and Kutner, et al., (2008), whose studies have shown the decrease in depression through the massage therapy, while it is inconsistent with the study by AlbertGillinov et al., (2009) in which massage has no effect on depression and anxiety. This may be because of the low number of massage sessions (Vafamand et al., 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the effect of massage therapy on reducing depression in students. In so doing, a quasi-experimental study of pretest-posttest with a control group design was undertaken among all male students of Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran. Of these, 30 student volunteers with depression (BDI cut of above 14) were selected and randomly divided into two experimental and control groups of 15 persons each. Then, Swedish massage therapy was performed for the experimental group for 8 weeks (3 sessions per week, for 30 minutes).The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was then administered to both groups. Univariate one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) showed an improvement in the depressive symptoms after massage in the experimental group. So, massage therapy is effective in reducing depression levels in students. It seems that establishing measures in this field, especially in an educational environment, improves the mood disorder.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015
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