Massage therapy reduces tension, anxiety, and pain in patients awaiting invasive cardiovascular procedures

Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2009 Dec;24(4):155-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7117.2009.00054.x.


(1) To assess the efficacy of a 20 minute massage therapy session on pain, anxiety, and tension in patients before an invasive cardiovascular procedure. (2) To assess overall patient satisfaction with the massage therapy. (3) To evaluate the feasibility of integrating massage therapy into preprocedural practices. Experimental pretest-posttest design using random assignment. Medical cardiology progressive care units at a Midwestern Academic Medical Center. Patients (N=130) undergoing invasive cardiovascular procedures. The intervention group received 20 minutes of hands on massage at least 30 minutes before an invasive cardiovascular procedure. Control group patients received standard preprocedural care. Visual analogue scales were used to collect verbal numeric responses measuring pain, anxiety, and tension pre- and postprocedure. The differences between pre- and postprocedure scores were compared between the massage and standard therapy groups using the Mann-Whitney Wilcoxon's test. Scores for pain, anxiety, and tension scores were identified along with an increase in satisfaction for patients who received a 20-minute massage before procedure compared with those receiving standard care. This pilot study showed that massage can be incorporated into medical cardiovascular units' preprocedural practice and adds validity to prior massage studies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures / psychology
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychometrics
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*