In a pilot study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers sought to assess the impact of different forms of therapy “in reducing the perceived burden and improving the emotional status of caregivers of people with dementia and to determine which form of physical intervention is most effective.”
For the study, 45 subjects were divided into three subgroups: the massage group, the relaxation group, and the control group. The researchers found that massage led to both a reduction in perceived burden and an improvement in mood and well-being in the caregivers. The relaxation group experienced significant improvement in mood, but no reduction in perceived burden. Massage and relaxation, however, were found to be equally effective in improving the well-being of caregivers.
The study concludes that while the results point to massage and relaxation as low-cost, effective interventions, further studies are necessary.
Read the abstract on PubMed.gov at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33302355/.