Stroke is the third largest cause of death in Sweden. A major aim of rehabilitation is that persons who have had a stroke should be able, despite reduction of functional abilities, to experience a good life satisfaction. In addition to traditional methods of rehabilitation, various complementary methods are being tested, including massage.
Aim: To investigate the importance of tactile massage for recovery and well being of stroke patients.
Method: A randomised controlled study carried out at a Swedish geriatric clinic, 1998-1999. A total of 35 patients diagnosed with a brain infarction were included, of those 5 were excluded in the first two weeks. Eighteen received tactile massage while 17 formed a control group. The patient’s ADL functions and quality of life according to the Nottingham Health Profile were measured. Medication for pain, lack of sleep, depression, and anxiety were registered up until four weeks after their discharge.
Results: The patients who received tactile massage experienced significantly higher quality of life and improved their ADL functions compared with the control group. The massage group made clear progress in terms of incontinence, movement mobility, and hygiene while the control group improved marginally. The massage group used less medication, in particular for the relieve of pain and depression
Key words: stroke, tactile massage, quality of life, ADL
2004. Vol. 24, no 2, 21-26 p.