Survey of parental acceptance of massage therapy, energy therapy and acupuncture for their children in the acute pediatric inpatient rehabilitation setting.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Salorio C
Author List: 
Rybczynski S
Katz E
Schultz S
Salorio C
Complement Ther Med
PubMed ID: 
To examine factors that influence parents' decision to accept or decline complementary therapies on an inpatient rehabilitation unit.Parents of children aged 2-21 admitted for acute pediatric rehabilitation were provided a survey regarding their child's use of massage, energy therapy and acupuncture during admission. They were also asked about religious beliefs, education, perceived severity of injury and perceived response to the therapies. The study was conducted on the Inpatient Acute Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.Of those who completed the survey (n=38), 39% accepted massage services, 49% accepted energy therapy, and 16% accepted acupuncture for their child. Acceptance of massage services was significantly correlated with belonging to an organized religion (p<0.05). Participation in weekly religious services was associated with rejection of energy therapy (p<0.01). Prior parental experience with massage and acupuncture was associated with acceptance of these services for their child (p<0.01). Chronicity of condition and family education was not related to acceptance or rejection of services. Over 80% of parents felt massage and energy therapy helped the recovery process. In 63% of parents surveyed, acupuncture was felt to help the recovery process.Prior exposure to massage therapy and acupuncture was the most important factor in a parent accepting these services for their child. All three services were subjectively felt to have facilitated recovery. Future studies should assess subjective versus objective utility of these therapies in acute pediatric rehabilitation.
Published Date: 
August, 2016

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