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P02.70. Feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to nurses during working hours on stress related symptoms: a pilot study


To assess the feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to hospital nurses during working hours on stress related symptoms.


Single arm study performed between 10/15/2010 and 12/24/2010 at an academic medical center. A mass e-mail was sent to all nurses working in an inpatient psychiatric and an outpatient pain rehabilitation unit. The first 40 respondents were enrolled; two were excluded due to missing enrollment data. A 15 minute chair massage once a week for 10 weeks was provided by one of three Certified Massage Therapists available 3 days a week. Instruments used included the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14), Smith Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Linear Analogue Scale Assessment (LASA) scale. Mean and standard deviations of PSS-14, SAS and LASA scores at baseline and at 10 weeks were calculated and analyzed with the paired t-test. Any p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.


The median age of 38 participants (5 males, 33 females) was 47 years (range 21-65). All participants completed the 3 instruments used at the beginning and end of the study. Of 380 available massage appointments, 278 were used (mean 7.13, range 1-10 massages per participant). Stress related symptoms improved as follows: the mean PSS-14 score decreased from 17.85 to 14.92 (p=0.0015), and the mean SAS score from 49.45 to 40.95 (p<0.0001). The mean LASA score increased from 42.39 to 44.84 (p=0.0055). Thirty participants (78.95%) felt that their overall job satisfaction improved because of the massages, and 23 (60.53%) were willing to pay $10 to $25 for a 15 minute chair massage if available at work.


Offering chair massages for nurses in a psychiatric/pain rehabilitation unit during working hours - although difficult to do due to busy clinical schedules - reduced stress related symptoms significantly and was highly appreciated by the nurses.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Engen, D., Bauer, B., Vincent, A. et al. P02.70. Feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to nurses during working hours on stress related symptoms: a pilot study. BMC Complement Altern Med 12 (Suppl 1), P126 (2012).

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