Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 35 (May 2019), pp. 361–367.

doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.03.020


Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Background and purpose: A massage therapy program was implemented to address the psychological well-being of family caregivers to patients in a rehabilitation hospital. The impact of massage “dosage” on caregiver stress and psychological well-being was examined in this study. Participants’ perspectives on the program were also explored. Materials and methods: Thirty-eight family caregivers were randomized to receive either one massage per week or three massages per week for two weeks. Caregivers reported psychological symptoms and stress pre- and postprogram. Program acceptability was assessed via responses on an exit survey. Results: Overall, 79% of massages were received (89% among program completers). Post-program symptom scores were lower than baseline scores for both groups (F (1, 31) = 8.74 – 24.50, P < 0.01). Exit surveys indicated high program acceptability and perceived benefits. Conclusion: Findings suggest that massage services would be welcomed, utilized, and beneficial for improving the psychological well-being of family caregivers in a rehabilitation hospital.