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Massage and Medicine: An Interprofessional Approach to Learning Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Enhancing Personal Wellness.

Acad Med; 2019 Jan 29.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30720530


To investigate the impact of a unique curriculum combining learning of surface anatomy and massage therapy for medical and physician assistant students.


The authors conducted a randomized controlled trial in 2014 at University of Iowa College of Medicine with 20 first-year students who viewed 4 hours of educational videos and participated in 11 hours of hands-on massage practice and 20 first-year students who only viewed the educational videos. Participants completed pre- and post-course assessments of knowledge, attitudes, and personal wellness, and completed a validated assessment of four dimensions of personal wellness.


Hands-on group participants outscored the online only group in post-course knowledge assessments of surface anatomy and massage therapy principles (P < .05). Students in the hands-on group reported higher agreement with statements about perceived knowledge and beliefs about referrals and advising patients regarding massage therapy (P < .05). Students also frequently reported greater comfort administering physical examinations. Hands-on group participants had statistically significant improvements in psychological wellness during the study (P = .03) whereas online only participants had a slight decrease (P = .09). Physical wellness was also slightly improved in the hands-on group (P = .06).


Findings show that integrating surface anatomy and massage therapy in an experiential course resulted in significant gains in knowledge of anatomy, understanding about interprofessional health care roles, increased confidence in clinical practice, and improved wellness. Accordingly, further development of learning experiences that incorporate basic science, interprofessional education, and techniques that promote student wellness should be encouraged.