Background: Pressure ulcers affect approximately 10% of patients in hospitals and the elderly are at highest risk. Several studies have suggested that massage therapy may help to prevent the development of pressure ulcers, but these results are inconsistent.
Objectives: To assess the evidence for the effects of massage compared with placebo, standard care or other interventions for prevention of pressure ulcers in at-risk populations.The review sought to answer the following questions:Does massage reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers of any grade?Is massage safe in the short- and long-term? If not, what are the adverse events associated with massage?
Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (8 January 2015), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2015, Issue 1), Ovid MEDLINE (1946 to 8 January 2015), Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process Other Non-Indexed Citations 8 January 2015), Ovid EMBASE (1974 to 8 January 2015), and EBSCO CINAHL (1982 to 8 January 2015). We did not apply date or language restrictions.
Selection criteria: We planned to include all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-randomised controlled trials (Q-RCTs) that evaluated the effects of massage therapy for the prevention of pressure ulcers. Our primary outcome was the proportion of people developing a new pressure ulcer of any grade.
Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently carried out trial selection. Disagreements were resolved by discussion.
Main results: No studies (RCTs or Q-RCTs) met the inclusion criteria. Therefore, neither a meta-analysis nor a narrative description of studies was possible.
Authors' conclusions: There are currently no studies eligible for inclusion in this review. It is, therefore, unclear whether massage therapy can prevent pressure ulcers.