Whole body massage for reducing anxiety and stabilizing vital signs of patients in cardiac care unit

Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2014 Jun 17;28:47. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Background: Patients admitted in coronary care units face various stressors. Ambiguity of future life conditions and unawareness of caring methods intensifies the patients' anxiety and stress. This study was conducted to assess the effects of whole body massage on anxiety and vital signs of patients with acute coronary disorders.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted on 120 patients. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups. The intervention group received a session of whole body massage and the control group received routine care. The levels of State, Trait and overall anxiety and vital signs were assessed in both groups before and after intervention. Independent sample t-test, paired t-test, Chi-square and Fischer exact tests were used for data analysis.

Results: The baseline overall mean score of anxiety was 79.43±29.34 in the intervention group and was decreased to 50.38±20.35 after massage therapy (p=0.001). However, no significant changes were occurred in the overall mean anxiety in the control group during the study. The baseline diastolic blood pressure was 77.05±8.12 mmHg and was decreased to 72.18±9.19 mmHg after the intervention (p=0.004). Also, significant decreases were occurred in heart rate and respiration rate of intervention group after massage therapy (p=0.001). However, no significant changes were occurred in vital signs of the control group during the study.

Conclusion: The results suggest that whole body massage was effective in reducing anxiety and stabilizing vital signs of patients with acute coronary disorders.

Keywords: Acute coronary disorder; Anxiety; Massage therapy; Vital signs.