Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is massage therapy effective at reducing negative behaviors in patients with dementia?”
Study Design: A systematic review of three randomized control trials (RCTs) published between 2014 and 2018.
Data Sources: All three sources were discovered using PubMed. The articles were published in English, in peer-reviewed journals, and selected based on applicability to the clinical question.
Outcome Measured: A reduction in the number of negative behaviors performed by patients with dementia was the outcome measured in all three studies using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory-Short Form (CMAI) or Campbell Scores. The CMAI is a 0 to 5 scale that rates how often certain agitated behaviors are performed. The Campbell score is based on anxiety and chronic pain severity ranging from 0 to 6.
Results: In the RCT by Rodriguez-Mansilla, a Campbell score mean change from baseline in the intervention group was -0.57 and the control group was 2.20, with the p-value <0.001. In the RCT conducted by Moyle et al., the mean change from baseline for the CMAI score in the intervention group was 1.28 compared to the control group with 7.82. The p-value was 0.03. Lastly, in the Schaub et al. RCT, the mean change from baseline for the CMAI score in the intervention group was 1.1 and 1.7 for the control group. There was no p-value given for the results reviewed in this study, making the significance of this answer unknown.
Conclusions: Taking into account all three studies in this review, the evidence is inconclusive in determining if massage therapy reduces negative behaviors in patients with dementia. The study by Rodriguez-Mansilla et al. showed that massage therapy did decrease the negative behaviors but the two studies by Schaub et al. and Moyle et al. showed that massage therapy did not decrease the negative behaviors in patients with dementia.
Reid, Casey, "Is massage therapy effective at reducing negative behaviors in patients with dementia?" (2022). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 652.