Massage Chair Sessions: Favorable Effects on Ambulatory Cancer Center Nurses' Perceived Level of Stress, Blood Pressure, and Heart Rate

Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2019 Aug 1;23(4):375-381. doi: 10.1188/19.CJON.375-381.


Background: High stress levels over time can contribute to compassion fatigue and burnout and negatively affect individual health and well-being.

Objectives: A pre-/post-test initiative was implemented to determine the effects of massage chair sessions on ambulatory cancer center nurses (RNs and advanced practice providers) based on their perceived stress, blood pressure (BP), and heart rate (HR).

Methods: A mechanical massage chair was available for 20-minute sessions in a secure room, and nurses self-recorded perceived stress using a visual analog scale, as well as BP and HR using a wrist cuff device. Descriptive statistics and paired t tests were used to assess nurse characteristics and differences before and after massage chair sessions.

Findings: Nurses participated in 200 massage chair sessions during a six-month period. Significant reductions were noted in perceived stress, systolic and diastolic BP, and HR. These data indicate that providing a relaxing room with chair massage has favorable effects on nurses' perceived stress, BP, and HR.

Keywords: ambulatory oncology nursing; mechanical massage chair; perceived stress.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cancer Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Massage*
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Occupational Health
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*