Massage as a Treatment Choice for People Coping with Chronic Pain and Mental Health Issues

Posted:Monday, November 20, 2017

Katherine Bubar
Maine Behavorial Healthcare
This grant is sponsored in part by a gift from Biotone.

The project we have proposed is to look at the value of massage therapy as a treatment option for patients with chronic pain. With the epidemic in opioid use and misuse leading to addiction, it is imperative to investigate any and all other avenues to manage pain. We are partnering with the pain clinic in our area in Southern Maine. The behavioral health clinician working in that clinic will refer patients who she believes will be receptive to trying another approach to managing their pain. We believe that pain management does not mean the absence of pain, but the patient’s ability to manage the pain that they have. We have evidence that pain can be better managed when an individual feels relaxed within their body and calm within themselves.

We will use the PHQ-9 to evaluate depression over the time of the therapy, the GAD-7 which will let us evaluate anxiety and the SOAPP-R which will predict possible opioid abuse in patients with pain. Additionally, we will interview every client who participates and will also hold focus groups to discuss the effect of the therapy from the client’s point of view. This is a small study. However, we hope that if the results prove positive, we will be able to find additional funding to increase the scope of the project.