AMTA Collaborating with Health & Healing Center for Research Project to Analyze Efficacy of Massage in Integrated Care

Evanston, IL – The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) announces a new collaboration with the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. The collaboration focuses on research analyses of the effectiveness of therapeutic massage in care provided to inpatients in the hospital from July 2005 through December 2009.

“We are pleased to be supporting this effort because of our on-going commitment to advancing quality research and evidence-informed practice and as part of our industry relations activity,” says AMTA President Glenath Moyle. “It is the first major achievement toward our research and industry relations goals this year.”

The approach will be an in-depth analysis of more than 13,000 patients who received integrative therapies compared with 2,400 patients who did not. Since therapeutic massage is the most common integrative therapy provided at Abbott Northwestern, the results of the study will provide the first comprehensive evidence on the effectiveness of therapeutic massage therapy in a “real-world” inpatient setting.   

“We propose to document predictors of integrative therapy referrals, service delivery and therapy selection for pain management,” says principal investigator Jeffery Dusek, PhD. “We will also examine the impact of integrated therapies, specifically therapeutic massage, as adjuncts to traditional interventions on short changes in pain in an acute care hospital setting.”

This is one example of how AMTA collaborates with other organizations in areas of strategic importance to the association and the profession, while it supports activities to further integrate massage into health care. AMTA accepts unique opportunities such as this, because of its benefit to the profession and advancement of the association’s vision and goals. The association views this as especially important, because AMTA members have frequently indicated they want and need more scientific research to empower them in their discussions with clients, health care professionals, potential employers and others. AMTA’s vision for massage therapy includes that quality research is the foundation for evidence-informed massage therapy education.

Results of the analyses are expected early next year and will be offered for publication in the free online International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. 

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage. The association fosters massage therapy research as the foundation for evidence-informed massage therapy practice.  It is the primary benefactor for the Massage Therapy Foundation.

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