RMTBC – Evidence-based massage therapy resources

Evidence Based Practice resources for massage therapists in beautiful BC

Systematic reviews on massage therapy

Systematic reviews are considered the gold standard for clinical evidence.

This page is dedicated to systematic reviews relevant to massage therapy as practiced by RMT’s in British Columbia.

Cochrane Collaboration is widely seen as the standard bearer for systematic reviews.

On their website the collaboration describes its main purpouse is: ” to develop systematic reviews of the strongest evidence available about healthcare interventions. Consumers and health practitioners can then work together to make the best possible decisions about health care. The reviews are published electronically within The Cochrane Library (free in Canada)  and are also freely accessible in shortened versions (abstracts and consumer summaries)”

They go on to describe systematic reviews being similar to someone who decides to look critically at articles that have appeared in the medical or health literature on a particular topic. The authors may review, say, all the conservative treatments available for neck pain. A review is very clearly defined and sets out to find what evidence there is for prescribing one particular intervention in a specific health condition, often in a certain group of people.

What is a systematic review?

A systematic review summarises the results of available carefully designed healthcare studies (controlled trials) and provides a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions.

The reviewers set about their task very methodically following, step by step, an advance plan that covers:

* the way existing studies are found;
* how the relevant studies are judged in terms of their usefulness in answering the review question;
* how the results of the separate studies are brought together to give an overall measure of effectiveness (benefits and harms) – statistical techniques used to combine the results are called meta-analysis.

Sense about research produced this great 2 page synopsis on Systematic Reviews

Below is a list of massage specific reviews originally posted here

Analgesia, anesthesia – Massage

Child care – Massage

Digestive system diseases – Massage

Lymphatic diseases – Massage

Mental disorders – Massage

Multiple indications – Massage

Musculoskeletal diseases – Massage

Neoplasms – Massage

Pregnancy, newborn – Massage


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