Introduction: Having poor sleep quality is common among patients following cardiopulmonary artery bypass graft surgery. Pain, stress, anxiety and poor sleep quality may be improved by massage therapy.
Objective: This study evaluated whether massage therapy is an effective technique for improving sleep quality in patients following cardiopulmonary artery bypass graft surgery.
Method: Participants included cardiopulmonary artery bypass graft surgery patients who were randomized into a control group and a massage therapy group following discharge from the intensive care unit (Day 0), during the postoperative period. The control group and the massage therapy group comprised participants who were subjected to three nights without massage and three nights with massage therapy, respectively. The patients were evaluated on the following mornings (i.e., Day 1 to Day 3) using a visual analogue scale for pain in the chest, back and shoulders, in addition to fatigue and sleep. Participants kept a sleep diary during the study period.
Results: Fifty-seven cardiopulmonary artery bypass graft surgery patients were enrolled in the study during the preoperative period, 17 of whom were excluded due to postoperative complications. The remaining 40 participants (male: 67.5%, age: 61.9 years ± 8.9 years, body mass index: 27.2 kg/m² ± 3.7 kg/m²) were randomized into control (n = 20) and massage therapy (n = 20) groups. Pain in the chest, shoulders, and back decreased significantly in both groups from Day 1 to Day 3. The participants in the massage therapy group had fewer complaints of fatigue on Day 1 (p=0.006) and Day 2 (p=0.028) in addition, they reported a more effective sleep during all three days (p=0.019) when compared with the participants in the control group.
Conclusion: Massage therapy is an effective technique for improving patient recovery from cardiopulmonary artery bypass graft surgery because it reduces fatigue and improves sleep.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01095419.