Scientific article

Impacts of touch massage on the experience of patients with chronic pain: a protocol for a mixed method study

Published inComplementary therapies in clinical practice, vol. 43, 101276
Publication date2021-05
First online date2020-11-28

Background: Chronic pain is a major public health problem. It affects the quality of life of many patients and their families and compromises physical and social functioning and psychological well-being. Non-pharmacological interventions are increasingly being used as a complement to chronic pain care. One of these interventions is Touch massage (TM) that can provide relaxation, comfort and well-being. In addition to its various physiological functions, TM can be used as a social communication tool.

Materials and methods: This is a cluster study with an exploratory qualitative part. Two groups will be considered: the experimental group will benefit from a TM delivered by trained members of care team and the control group will benefit from an intervention of the same duration with a foot massage device. At least 4 sessions will be delivered and spread over two weeks. Sample size calculation showed that 78 participants (39 per group) need to be included. As for the qualitative part, semi-structured interviews will be conducted to investigate the patients' perception of the intervention; focus groups will explore the satisfaction and general perception of the health care teams.

Expected results: Incorporating TM interventions into care planning could bring benefits in supporting patients suffering from chronic pain. TM is expected to increase the patients' feelings that their pain is seriously considered; physical and psychological support should help improve their sense of comfort and well-being and hence their quality of life. This practice might thus improve the caregiver-patient relationship with TM as a providing a new means of establishing communication through touch.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04295603, Registered on March 4, 2020.

  • Chronic pain
  • Patient-therapist relationship
  • Touch massage
  • Well-being
  • Chronic Pain / therapy
  • Humans
  • Massage
  • Quality of Life
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Touch
  • Fonds de développement de la Direction des soins HUG -
  • Leenaards Fondation - [4518.1]
Citation (ISO format)
DA ROCHA RODRIGUES, Maria Goreti et al. Impacts of touch massage on the experience of patients with chronic pain: a protocol for a mixed method study. In: Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 2021, vol. 43, p. 101276. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101276
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1744-3881

Technical informations

Creation02/18/2022 3:48:00 PM
First validation02/18/2022 3:48:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 6:56:44 AM
Status update03/16/2023 6:56:44 AM
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