Massage Therapy in Management of Occupational Stress

Massage Therapy in Management of Occupational Stress

Background: Results of various studies indicate that emergency medical service (EMS) staff suffer from occupational stress that adversely affects their quality of life and their care quality.

Purpose: This study aimed at determining the effect of massage on occupational stress experienced by emergency medical service staff.

Setting: Prehospital emergency medical services stations of a city in the southwest of Iran.

Participants: A total of 58 members of staff of the emergency medical services, working in prehospital emergency medical services stations.

Research design: In this randomized controlled trial, a total of 58 EMS staff were selected from prehospital EMS stations, according to inclusion and exclusion criteria, and then assigned in two groups (29 in massage and 29 in control group) randomly by the minimization method. The intervention group received Swedish massage, twice a week for four weeks in the morning after the end of the work shift. Each massage session lasted 20-25 minutes. Subjects in the control group received no intervention. The level of occupational stress of the two groups was measured under the same conditions before and after the intervention by using the expanded nurses' occupational stress scale (ENSS). Data were analyzed with the SPSS16 software by using the chi-squared test, paired and independent-sample t tests, one-way ANCOVA. P value < .05 was considered as the level of significance.

Results: The mean and SD of total occupational stress scores in the control group was 114.41±30.11 in pretest and reach to 112.58± 30.62 in posttest stage. Also the mean and SD of total occupational stress scores in the intervention group was 130.20±26.45 in pretest and reach to 110.41±21.75 in posttest stage. A one-way ANCOVA showed that there is a significant effect of massage on EMS staff's occupational stress level after controlling for pretest score (p = .001).

Conclusions: The training and the application of massage therapy can serve as an effective method in reducing occupational stress in emergency medical centers.

Rank: 25
First Author: Mahdizadeh
Outcome: Stress
Outcome p-value: Stress:⭑⭑⭑
Intervention Category: Medical
Time per Employee (hours): 8.7
Hours per Employee: 9
D&B Study Quality Rating: 19
Reviewer Confidence: 3.5
Country: Iran
Study Design Type: RCT
Materials Available to Implement: Swedish (classic) massage was provided. Detailed expectations of the massage therapist are described. While the time noted is 8.7 hours, the duration of the study protocol, presumably the massage would have to continue indefinitely. The massage was performed by a person with a certificate of Swedish massage. Corresponding author:
Materials Available: yes
Organiz./Individ. Focus: Individual
Prevention Category: Secondary
Effect size Small:
Effect size Medium:
Reference: Mahdizadeh, Mahdi, Jaberi, Ali Ansari, and Bonabi, Tayebeh Negahban. “Massage Therapy in Management of Occupational Stress in Emergency Medical Services Staffs: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice 12, no. 1 (2019): 16–22.