Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1992 Jan;31(1):125-31. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199201000-00019.


A 30-minute back massage was given daily for a 5-day period to 52 hospitalized depressed and adjustment disorder children and adolescents. Compared with a control group who viewed relaxing videotapes, the massaged subjects were less depressed and anxious and had lower saliva cortisol levels after the massage. In addition, nurses rated the subjects as being less anxious and more cooperative on the last day of the study, and nighttime sleep increased over this period. Finally, urinary cortisol and norepinephrine levels decreased, but only for the depressed subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology*
  • Adjustment Disorders / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Arousal*
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage*