Massage & Bodywork

March | April 2014

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54 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a r c h / a p r i l 2 0 1 4 As a research professor, one of the most common questions I get from massage therapists is "How do I get involved in research?" That is a difficult question to answer without knowing a bit more about the individual and his or her ultimate goals. Getting involved in research can take many forms—from minor involvement to a full-scale career change. But even a small amount of involvement can make a big impact on the future of the massage profession. SOMATIC RESEARCH education How Do You Get Involved in Research? By Jerrilyn Cambron WRITE A CASE REPORT The first step for any practicing massage therapist who wants to get involved in research is to write a case report for publication in a scientific journal. A case report documents a practitioner's experiences, thoughts, or observations related to the care of a single client. For example, in one recently published case report, a massage therapist described her treatment of a 47-year- old female who sought massage therapy for pain and dysfunction after spinal decompression and fusion surgery. 1 This was an interesting and informative report that demonstrated the benefits of massage therapy for this condition. The most common type of case report is a description of care rendered for a common condition. But there are many types of case reports that can be written by a massage therapist. Other reports might address treatment of a rare condition, new or unique massage treatments, unexpected complications during treatment, or unexpected positive or negative outcomes for one condition when treating another. Advantages A single case report such as the one described can have a great impact on the literature base. Case reports that are published in scientific journals show up in research databases like PubMed, just like all other research articles. Even though other therapists know massage may be beneficial for such a condition, it is important for massage therapists to share experiences with each other, and a case report will educate other health-care professionals regarding massage therapy as a possible intervention. The impact will be even greater if no previous articles have been published on the topic. Even though a single case report is weak evidence, it is still evidence. Along with being an educational tool for other health-care providers, it might be the impetus

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