A survey of training and practice patterns of massage therapists in two US states

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A survey of training and practice patterns of massage therapists in two US states

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dc.contributor.author Sherman, Karen J. en_US
dc.contributor.author Cherkin, Daniel C. en_US
dc.contributor.author Kahn, Janet en_US
dc.contributor.author Erro, Janet en_US
dc.contributor.author Hrbek, Andrea en_US
dc.contributor.author Deyo, Richard A. en_US
dc.contributor.author Eisenberg, David M. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-21T15:49:10Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-21T15:49:10Z
dc.date.issued 2005 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Sherman K, Cherkin D, Kahn J, et al. A survey of training and practice patterns of massage therapists in two US states. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2005;5(1):13. en_US
dc.identifier.other 10.1186/1472-6882-5-13 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/5/13 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773/15721
dc.description.abstract Background: Despite the growing popularity of therapeutic massage in the US, little is known about the training or practice characteristics of massage therapists. The objective of this study was to describe these characteristics. Methods: As part of a study of random samples of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners, we interviewed 226 massage therapists licensed in Connecticut and Washington state by telephone in 1998 and 1999 (85% of those contacted) and then asked a sample of them to record information on 20 consecutive visits to their practices (total of 2005 consecutive visits). Results: Most massage therapists were women (85%), white (95%), and had completed some continuing education training (79% in Connecticut and 52% in Washington). They treated a limited number of conditions, most commonly musculoskeletal (59% and 63%) (especially back, neck, and shoulder problems), wellness care (20% and 19%), and psychological complaints (9% and 6%) (especially anxiety and depression). Practitioners commonly used one or more assessment techniques (67% and 74%) and gave a massage emphasizing Swedish (81% and 77%), deep tissue (63% and 65%), and trigger/pressure point techniques (52% and 46%). Self-care recommendations, including increasing water intake, body awareness, and specific forms of movement, were made as part of more than 80% of visits. Although most patients self-referred to massage, more than onequarter were receiving concomitant care for the same problem from a physician. Massage therapists rarely communicated with these physicians. Conclusion: This study provides new information about licensed massage therapists that should be useful to physicians and other healthcare providers interested in learning about massage therapy in order to advise their patients about this popular CAM therapy. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Grants from the Group Health Foundation, Grants #HS09565 and #HS08194 from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and Grant #AR43441-04S1 from the National Institutes of Health. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title A survey of training and practice patterns of massage therapists in two US states en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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