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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 792042, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/792042
Research Article

Massage for Children Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Qualitative Report

1Department of General Internal Medicine, The University of Califorina, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2Alcohol Research Group (E.A.L.), Emeryville, CA 94608, USA
3Department of Physiological Nursing, School of Nursing, The University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
4Division of Blood and Marrow Transplant, Department of Pediatrics, The University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
5Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, The University of California, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
6Department of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology, The University of California, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
7Department of Family and Community Medicine, The University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

Received 30 September 2011; Accepted 9 December 2011

Academic Editor: Beverley de Valois

Copyright © 2012 Sara L. Ackerman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. No in-depth qualitative research exists about the effects of therapeutic massage with children hospitalized to undergo hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The objective of this study is to describe parent caregivers' experience of the effects of massage/acupressure for their children undergoing HCT. Methods. We conducted a qualitative analysis of open-ended interviews with 15 parents of children in the intervention arm of a massage/acupressure trial. Children received both practitioner and parent-provided massage/acupressure. Results. Parents reported that their child experienced relief from pain and nausea, relaxation, and greater ease falling asleep. They also reported increased caregiver competence and closeness with their child as a result of learning and performing massage/acupressure. Parents supported a semistandardized massage protocol. Conclusion. Massage/acupressure may support symptom relief and promote relaxation and sleep among pediatric HCT patients if administered with attention to individual patients' needs and hospital routines and may relieve stress among parents, improve caregiver competence, and enhance the sense of connection between parent and child.