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Measuring the Effect of Chair Massage on Stress Related Symptoms for Nurses

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Deborah Engen, Mayo Clinic Identifier:
First received: December 21, 2011
Last updated: February 7, 2012
Last verified: February 2012
The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and effect of chair massage provided during working hours for nurses in an inpatient psychiatric and an outpatient pain rehabilitation unit and on the nurses stress related symptoms.

Condition Intervention
Procedure: Chair massage

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Measuring the Effect of Chair Massage on Stress Related Symptoms for Nurses: A Pilot Study

Further study details as provided by Mayo Clinic:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in stress, anxiety and quality of life after 10 weeks of chair massage therapy in nursing staff using four self reported instruments. [ Time Frame: 10 Weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Change from baseline of stress related symptoms in nursing staff at 5 weeks. [ Time Frame: 5 Weeks ]
  • Change from baseline of stress related symptoms in nursing staff at 10 weeks. [ Time Frame: 10 Weeks ]

Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: October 2010
Study Completion Date: December 2010
Primary Completion Date: December 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Massage
Chair massage for 15 minutes once a week for 10 weeks.
Procedure: Chair massage
Chair massage for 15 minutes once a week for 10 weeks.
Other Name: Massage

Detailed Description:

Nursing staff working in a hospital in-patient psychiatric unit and out-patient pain rehabilitation/ fibromyalgia units each have varying causes of stress as both are intensely demanding environments. The physical and psychosocial demands of these stress-loaded work environments place a significant amount of strain on the physiological well-being of the employee.

Nurses in these settings are considered healthy employees and able to participate in the workforce, although symptoms such as headaches, shoulder tension, insomnia, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain are often a part of their work day. As these stress related symptoms become more chronic, they lead to days missed and become pre-cursors to physiological illnesses so warrant further search for prevention tactics.

Massage therapy has been noted to decrease levels of anxiety and fatigue which is essential to maintaining employee's efficient care in a dynamic environment. This study will provide massage in the workplace utilizing chair massage as it is easy to set up, does not need a great deal of space, and can be provided in semi-private areas, as the participant remains clothed. A 2006 report on a small study indicated chair massage can be effective in reducing stress perception in nurses within a hospital setting, at least in the short-term. Another study reported some short-term positive effects on stress related symptoms; and came to the conclusion that further studies are indicated to examine the efficacy of workplace-based massage therapy programs.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Men and women age 18-65 able to give informed consent
  • Able to speak and understand English
  • Minimum of 8-hour per day shift schedule with .75 - 1.0 FTE.
  • Need to be able to schedule one massage per week in the available massage schedule time slots.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Individuals being treated for acute musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Individuals currently on work restrictions
  • Undergoing treatments for a malignancy
  • Pregnancy (due to this being chair massage)
  • Recent head, neck, shoulder or back surgeries
  • Pins or joint fusion of the head or neck
  • Current sinus infections, earaches, or vascular migraines
  • Nursing staff that float on to the unit
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01504763

United States, Minnesota
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota, United States, 55905
Sponsors and Collaborators
Mayo Clinic
Principal Investigator: Deborah J. Engen, O.T. Mayo Clinic
  More Information

Responsible Party: Deborah Engen, Principal Investigator, Mayo Clinic Identifier: NCT01504763     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 08-004874
Study First Received: December 21, 2011
Last Updated: February 7, 2012

Keywords provided by Mayo Clinic:
Chair massage

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on May 25, 2017