Benefits Stroke Patients
days of bedtime back massage, for 10 minutes each evening, significantly reduced
the anxiety, pain, blood pressure and heart rate of elderly stroke patients,
according to a recent study.
effects of slow-stroke back massage on anxiety and shoulder pain in elderly
stroke patients” was conducted by staff at the Hong Kong Polytechnic
University Department of Nursing and Wong Chuk Hang Hospital, in Hung Hom,
Kowloon, Hong Kong.
were stroke patients 65 years or older, experiencing shoulder pain and not
already receiving pain-relief measures. One-hundred-and-two subjects, with an
average age of 73, completed the study. They were randomly assigned to either
the massage group or the control group.
in the massage group received 10 minutes of slow-stroke back massage before
bedtime for seven evenings in a row. The massage involved slow, rhythmic
stroking while the subject was either seated, leaning on a pillow, or lying
prone in bed.
in the control group received standard care.
measures were self-reported anxiety and pain; systolic and diastolic blood
pressure; and heart rate. These were evaluated before the massage on the first
day of the study and after the massage on the last day of the study, as well as
three days after the massage sessions had ended. For subjects in the control
group, the outcomes were measured on day one and seven of the study, and three
State-Trait Anxiety Inventory was used to gauge participants’ anxiety levels,
and the Vertical Visual Analogue Scale was used to measure pain. The research
nurse measured subjects’ blood pressure and heart rates.
of the study showed that subjects in the massage group had significantly lower
pain, anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate, compared to subjects in the
control group. Three days after the massage had ended, these improvements were
maintained among the massage recipients.
results of this study support the view that [slow-stroke back massage], as an
alternative adjunct to pharmacological treatment, is a clinically effective
nursing intervention for reducing anxiety and shoulder pain in elderly stroke
patients,” state the study’s authors.