Research: ALI and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 272


ALI and COLLEAGUES, 1. Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; 2. Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Yale School of Public Health, Derby, Connecticut; 3. Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, School of Health Related Professions, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey; 4. Duke Integrative Medicine, Durham, North Carolina studied and evaluated Massage Therapy and Quality of Life in Osteoarthritis of the Knee in patients from hospitals and health centres in Connecticut and New Jersey, USA.


The authors hypothesized that participants receiving Swedish massage would experience benefits such as stress reduction and enhanced quality of life, in addition to the osteoarthritis-specific effects assessed in a randomized controlled clinical trial.


Face-to-face and telephone interviews using a standardized interview guide. Triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data allowed for a more thorough understanding of the effects of massage therapy. Design: Qualitative methods were used to explore a deeper contextual understanding of participants' experiences with massage and osteoarthritis, in addition to the quantitative data collected from primary and secondary outcome measures of the dose-finding study. Setting: Two community hospitals affiliated with academic health centers in Connecticut and New Jersey. Subjects: Eighteen adults who previously participated in a dose-finding clinical trial of massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee.RESULTS: Three salient themes emerged from our analysis. Participants discussed 1) relaxation effects, 2) improved quality of life associated with receiving massage therapy, and 3) the accessibility of massage therapy in treating osteoarthritis.



Participant responses noted empowerment with an improved ability to perform activities of daily living after experiencing massage therapy. The majority of statements were consistent with their quantitative changes on standard osteoarthritis measures. Future research in pain conditions should include health-related quality of life assessments as well as outcomes related to perceived well-being, along with greater exploration of the concept of salutogenic side effects of an intervention in the context of complementary and integrative therapies.© 2016 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


Ali A1, Rosenberger L2, Weiss TR1, Milak C3, Perlman AI4. Massage Therapy and Quality of Life in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Qualitative Study. Pain Med. 18(6):1168-1175. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnw217. Jun 1 2017.


The above research demonstrated improved quality of life and well-being following massage therapy in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.

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