And the Research Says
The Effects of Hand Massage on Stress and Agitation Among People with Dementia in a Hospital Setting: A Pilot Study (Randomized Control Trial) Schaub, C., Von Gunten, A., Morin, D. et al. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2018) 43: 319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-018-9416-2
Hicks-Moore S, Robinson B. “Favorite Music and Hand Massage: Two Interventions to Decrease Agitation in Residents with Dementia.” Dementia, 2008;7(1):95-108. http://dem.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/7/1/95
Agitation in individuals with dementia living in the nursing home environment affects care and quality of life. Relaxation techniques such as music and massage are showing promise to decrease agitation and improve quality of life in individuals with dementia. Using an experimental 3 x 3 repeated measures design, 41 residents with mild to moderate dementia participated in a study to test the effectiveness of favorite music (FM) and hand massage (HM) in reducing agitated behaviors. Agitated residents were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control groups. Residents in the treatment group received each of three treatments, HM, FM, and HMFM, with each treatment lasting 10 minutes. Residents in the control group received no treatment. Agitation was measured using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) at three different intervals. The results suggest that FM and HM individually and combined are effective in significantly decreasing agitation immediately following the intervention and also one hour post intervention.
Nonpharmacological Management of Agitated Behaviours Associated with Dementia Dorothy A Forbes, RN, PhD; Shelley Peacock, RN, MN; Debra Morgan, RN, PhD Geriatrics and Aging. 2005;8(4):26-30.
Several strategies (e.g., simulated presence, pet therapy, bright light, validation therapy, music, massage, therapeutic touch, aromatherapy, and multisensory stimulation) have demonstrated promising results in decreasing physical aggression, physical nonaggression, verbal aggression, and verbal nonaggression. The lack of strong evidence for these interventions may be more a reflection of the lack of rigour in the design of the studies than the effectiveness of the interventions. Additional rigorous studies need to be conducted using truly randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes.
More on Massage and Alzheimer Disease:
Susan Salvo –Massage & Alzheimer Disease
A Touch of Compassion: Massage Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease Michelle Vallet, November 15, 2011. American Massage Therapy Association
Massage and Bodywork Magazine for the Visually Impaired – Alzheimer’s and Other Dementing Diseases May/June 2017 Issue
Massage and the Alzheimer’s Patient From the Therapist For the TherapisBy Dietrich W. Miesler, MA, CMTOriginally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, December/January 2000.
Alzheimer Disease and CrainioSacral therapy – Upldedger Institute