Physical and psychological effects of 6-week tactile massage on elderly patients with severe dementia

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2010 Dec;25(8):680-6. doi: 10.1177/1533317510386215.


Tactile massage is a soft massage that improves physical relaxation and psychological well-being. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of a 6-week tactile massage on changes in physical and mental function, symptoms of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) among elderly patients with dementia. In addition, chromogranin A (CgA) levels as an index of stress examined the effects of tactile massage intervention. A tactile massage group consisting of elderly patients with dementia received tactile massage therapy a total of 30 times each for about 20 minutes between 16:00 and 17:00 hours. In the control group, the mean scores for ''intellectual'' and ''emotional function'' score decreased significantly after 6 weeks (P < .05); however, no change was observed in the tactile massage group. Both the ''aggressiveness'' score (P < .05) and CgA levels decreased significantly after 6 weeks in the tactile massage group. These results suggest that tactile massage reduces aggressiveness and stress level in patients with dementia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aggression
  • Behavior
  • Chromogranin A / metabolism
  • Dementia* / nursing
  • Dementia* / psychology
  • Dementia* / therapy
  • Female
  • Geriatric Nursing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Massage / methods*
  • Massage / nursing*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nonverbal Communication / psychology
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*


  • Chromogranin A