Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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Scheduling challenges are obvious for patient participants, but this article points out similar—and perhaps less obvious—challenges in the nonpatient massage recipient. These differences may point to the need for treatment delivery variation in hospital-based massage programs to meet multiple scheduling accommodation realities. The article also discussed massage therapist anecdotal feedback that suggested missed appointments by participants led to inefficient use of therapist time. This, coupled with the challenges participants had with keeping their appointments, highlights the reality of conflicting needs for massage in hospital settings and sometimes in research generally. The final application-to-practice point this article highlights is the importance for caregivers to also receive care, and how patient care can be improved by including informal caregiver support. Participants in this study indicated the research and affiliated massage program reflected well on their view of the hospital and supported them in their caregiving role with the patient. As massage therapists, we are well aware of the challenges faced by our clients who are themselves caregivers for the various people in their lives. These clients, in many cases, are indeed informal caregivers for loved ones with temporary or permanent conditions that limit functional independence. We have these clients' attention in relation to their own self-care and renewal needs, but other avenues may exist to support other caregivers in need through caregiver support services or programs, such as the one highlighted in this research. Ideally, hospitals and other patient advocacy proponents can take up the "take care of yourself first" approach the airline industry has adopted with their own "importance of self-care through massage" message to accompanying caregivers of admitted patients. This study is an evidence-based example of how even weekly massage for caregivers is beneficial SOMATIC RESE ARCH for individual well-being and perspectives on continued caregiving capacity. FINAL THOUGHTS After selecting this study as one I wanted to focus on for Somatic Research, I discovered it was funded by the Massage Therapy Foundation, which made my smile about this work widen just a bit more. The Massage Therapy Foundation provides modest funding each year through a competitive process for community service and research projects like this one. As mentioned in prior columns, research is time-consuming and, in most cases, requires financial support to cover related costs, such as people's time, materials and supplies, incentives, and dissemination. While the large-scale massage intervention trials that are so exciting to our field are typically funded by national governmental funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Health Administration, or other similarly large institutions, funding and support avenues for smaller scale, early research career, and clinical research is important. The selection of this research project by a funder with its sole focus on the massage therapy field speaks to this study's alignment with the field's interests, as well as its reflection of real-world massage therapy practice and relevance. Notes 1. Ilse van Beusekom et al., "Reported Burden on Informal Caregivers of ICU Survivors: A Literature Review," Critical Care 20, no. 1 (2015): 16. Ta k e 5 a n d t r y A B M P F i v e - M i n u t e M u s c l e s a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / f i v e - m i n u t e - m u s c l e s . 45 To learn more about the funding opportunities available from the Massage Therapy Foundation and other research they have supported, check out their website at www.massagetherapyfoundation.org. To learn more about the challenges faced by informal caregivers and various support programs for specific caregiver populations of interest, check out the robust information available from the Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving at www.caregiver.org. 2. J. Nick Dionne-Odom et al., "The Self-Care Practices of Family Caregivers of Persons with Poor Prognosis Cancer: Differences by Varying Levels of Caregiver Well-Being and Preparedness," Supportive Care in Cancer 25, no. 8 (2017): 2,437–44. 3. Natalie A. Williams et al., "Therapeutic Massage to Enhance Family Caregivers' Well-Being in a Rehabilitation Hospital," Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 35 (2019): 361–67. 4. Leonard R. Gerogatis, Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)-18: Administration, Scoring and Procedures Manual (Minneapolis: NCS Pearson, 2001). 5. Sheldon Cohen et al., "A Global Measure of Perceived Stress," Journal of Health and Social Behavior (1983): 385–96. 6. Karen T. Boulanger et al., "The Development and Validation of the Client Expectations of Massage Scale," International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 5, no. 3 (2012): 3. 7. Taelyr Weekly et al., "Impact of a Massage Therapy Intervention for Pediatric Palliative Care Patients and Their Family Caregivers," Journal of Palliative Care (2018), https://doi. org/10.1177/0825859718810727. 8. Niki Munk, "Massage for Young People with Cystic Fibrosis: Dissemination Choices Bring Wider Access," Massage & Bodywork 34, no. 4 (July/August 2019): 42–45. Niki Munk, PhD, LMT, is an associate professor of health sciences at Indiana University, VA affiliate investigator, visiting fellow with the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, and mother of two young daughter- scientists. Dr. Munk's research explores real-world massage therapy for chronic pain, trigger point self- care, massage for amputation-related sequelae, and the reporting and impact of massage-related case reports. Contact her at nmunk@iu.edu.

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