Massage to manage agitation in a nursing home

 It’s accessible, easily learned, and effective in controlling some types of agitation in elders with cognitive impairment, according to Diane Holliday-Welsh, an occupational therapist, and colleagues from Duluth, Minnesota.

First, the details.

  • Patients were identified as susceptible to agitation by nursing home staff or by Minimum Data Set (MDS) report results.
    • MDS is a clinical assessment tool, which assesses resident’s functional capabilities and helps nursing home staff identify health problems.
  • Data were collected at the start of the study, during treatment (6 days), and afterward.

And, the results.

  • Agitation was significantly lower during massage therapy compared to before and afterward.
  • Massage was associated with significant improvement in wandering, verbal agitation, physical agitation, and resistance to care.

The bottom line?
When analysis was restricted to residents with significant levels of agitation, the benefits of massage on agitation increased, according to the authors.

They believe that more research in this area is warranted.

4/9/09 21:48 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.