Table 10: Massage in ASD.

Author Year Type and duration of study Sample size Type of intervention ComparatorsDose Outcome measureFindings Comments

Escalona et al. [82]2001Randomized parallel group  
Duration: 4 weeks
(M 12; F 8)  
Age: 3–6 years
Massage (simple touch)Reading stories15 min/dayConners Teacher and Parent scales, sleep behaviorImprovementNo blinding  
No placebo condition

Silva et al. [83]2007Randomized parallel group  
Duration: 5 months
(M 13; F 2)  
Age: >6 years  
Children stratified according to cognitive level
Massage (Qigong) plus special education program Special education program 15 min/daySP, Vineland, ABCImprovement in all scale apart from ABC and Vineland language and motor abilitiesBlinding not reported  
No placebo condition  
Special education program may vary between children  
Statistical analysis performed on 20 children (they included children in the control group who were switched to active treatment)

Silva et al. [84]2009Randomized, single blind, parallel group  
Duration: 5 months
(M 37; F 9)  
Age: 3–6 years
Massage (Qigong) plus special education program Waitlist 15 min/dayPDDBI (teacher and parent rated), ABC, SSCSignificant improvement in teacher-rated PDDBITeacher appears to be blinded but no detailed information  
No information on waitlist are provided  
No information on additional treatments  
No sample size calculation

Piravej et al. [85]2009Randomized, single blind, parallel group  
Duration: 8 weeks
(M 49; F 11)  
Age: 3–6 years
Massage  
(Thai) plus sensory integration
Sensory integration 2 h/weekConners’ Rating Scales, sleep behaviorSignificant improvement in parent-rated conduct problems and anxietyNo placebo condition  
Multicomponent intervention  
No improvement in teacher-rated scales (teachers were blinded while parents not)

ABC, Aberrant Behavioral Checklist; ASD, autism spectrum disorder; PDDBI, Pervasive Developmental Disorders Behavior Inventory; SP, Sensory Profile; SSC, Sense and Self-Regulation Checklist.