Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people: A meta-analysis

Wen Hsuan Hou, Pai Tsung Chiang, Tun Yen Hsu, Su Ying Chiu, Yung Chieh Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective: To systematically investigate the treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people by incorporating data from recent studies. Data Sources: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of massage therapy in depressed people was conducted using published studies from PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL electronic database from inception until July 2008. The terms used for the search were derived from medical subheading term (MeSH) massage combined with MeSH depression. Hand searching was also checked for bibliographies of relevant articles. Retrieval articles were constrained to RCTs/clinical trials and human subjects. No language restrictions were imposed. Study Selection: We included 17 studies containing 786 persons from 246 retrieved references. Trials with other intervention, combined therapy, and massage on infants or pregnant women were excluded. Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently performed initial screen and assessed quality indicators by Jadad scale. Data were extracted on publication year, participant characteristics, and outcomes by another single reviewer. Data Synthesis: All trials showed positive effect of massage therapy on depressed people. Seventeen RCTs were of moderate quality, with a mean quality score of 6.4 (SD = 0.85). The pooled standardized mean difference in fixed- and random-effects models were 0.76 (95% CI, 0.61-0.91) and 0.73 (95% CI, 0.52-0.93), respectively. Both indicated significant effectiveness in the treatment group compared with the control group. The variance between these studies revealed possible heterogeneity (τ2 = 0.06, Cochran χ2 16 = 25.77, P = .06). Conclusions: Massage therapy is significantly associated with alleviated depressive symptoms. However, standardized protocols of massage therapy, various depression rating scales, and target populations in further studies are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-901
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume71
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Massage
Meta-Analysis
Randomized Controlled Trials
Depression
Therapeutics
Health Services Needs and Demand
Information Storage and Retrieval
Bibliography
PubMed
Publications
Pregnant Women
Language
Clinical Trials
Databases
Control Groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people : A meta-analysis. / Hou, Wen Hsuan; Chiang, Pai Tsung; Hsu, Tun Yen; Chiu, Su Ying; Yen, Yung Chieh.

In: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol. 71, No. 7, 07.2010, p. 894-901.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hou, Wen Hsuan ; Chiang, Pai Tsung ; Hsu, Tun Yen ; Chiu, Su Ying ; Yen, Yung Chieh. / Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people : A meta-analysis. In: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2010 ; Vol. 71, No. 7. pp. 894-901.
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abstract = "Objective: To systematically investigate the treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people by incorporating data from recent studies. Data Sources: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of massage therapy in depressed people was conducted using published studies from PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL electronic database from inception until July 2008. The terms used for the search were derived from medical subheading term (MeSH) massage combined with MeSH depression. Hand searching was also checked for bibliographies of relevant articles. Retrieval articles were constrained to RCTs/clinical trials and human subjects. No language restrictions were imposed. Study Selection: We included 17 studies containing 786 persons from 246 retrieved references. Trials with other intervention, combined therapy, and massage on infants or pregnant women were excluded. Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently performed initial screen and assessed quality indicators by Jadad scale. Data were extracted on publication year, participant characteristics, and outcomes by another single reviewer. Data Synthesis: All trials showed positive effect of massage therapy on depressed people. Seventeen RCTs were of moderate quality, with a mean quality score of 6.4 (SD = 0.85). The pooled standardized mean difference in fixed- and random-effects models were 0.76 (95{\%} CI, 0.61-0.91) and 0.73 (95{\%} CI, 0.52-0.93), respectively. Both indicated significant effectiveness in the treatment group compared with the control group. The variance between these studies revealed possible heterogeneity (τ2 = 0.06, Cochran χ2 16 = 25.77, P = .06). Conclusions: Massage therapy is significantly associated with alleviated depressive symptoms. However, standardized protocols of massage therapy, various depression rating scales, and target populations in further studies are suggested.",
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