Alzheimer's DementiaMassage

Foot massage for patients with dementia

Researchers at Griffith University, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, studied the effects of foot massage on agitated behaviors.

First, the details.

  • 22 elderly men and women with a diagnosis of dementia and a history of clinically significant agitation received a 10-minute foot massage each day for 14 days.
  • The short form of the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI-SF) and the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC) were used to assess the response.

And, the results.

  • Both scores were significantly reduced after message and remained significantly lower than at the start of the study at the 2-week follow up.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “This study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that limited short-duration foot massage reduces agitation and related behavioral problems in people with dementia, and that these behavior changes are maintained after the massage ceases.”

Next, we need a study in more patients with a comparison of massage to a no treatment control group

9/21/11 21:32 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, a complementary and alternative medicine website.