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Massage therapy in the management of fibromyalgia: a pilot study
Alnigenis MNY, Bradley JD, Wallick J, Emsley CL
Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain 2001;9(2):55-67
clinical trial
3/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: No; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: No. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To study the clinical effectiveness of Swedish massage in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). METHODS: Swedish massage (SM) was compared with standard physician care (SC) without or with interim follow-up telephone calls (SCPC) in 37 subjects. RESULTS: Baseline Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS) of physical activity, depression, anxiety, and pain for all patients indicated poor status. Baseline Quality of Well Being (QWB) scores showed impaired quality of life; the Rheumatology Attitudes Index (RAI) scores indicated helplessness. All but five subjects had a Centre for Epidemiology Studies Depression score above 15. At four weeks (7-SM/8-SC/9-SCPC), the SM group improved in RAI (p = 0.06) and AIMS mobility (p = 0.05). AT 28 weeks (4-SM/6-SC/6-SCPC), there were no significant inter-group differences. The 16 study completers had significantly lower baseline QWB scores (p = 0.025) than dropouts. CONCLUSIONS: Although our study showed some effect of SM in FMS at four weeks, benefits were modest and not significant at later time-points, perhaps attributable to low subject retention. The subject warrants further exploration.
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