194271 Integrating Massage into an Adolescent Fitness Program to Reduce Risk of Diabetes

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:50 PM

Elizabeth Sommers, MPH, LicAc, DSc , Research Dept., Pathways to Wellness/ AIDS Care Project, Boston, MA
Background: An integrated team of health care providers in a large urban community health center have developed a comprehensive program for girls who are overweight and at risk of diabetes. In addition to exercise and classes in nutrition, a sports massage component was added and funded by the Massage Therapy Foundation.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study, we are evaluating the following characteristics of the massage component: utilization; girls' satisfaction with massage; changes in girls' attitudes about health and risk behaviors. Questions from the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey were administered at baseline and following 2 months of massage. A focus group was also conducted in order to learn about girls' perceptions about massage and related effects in their health habits and self-worth.

Results: Thirteen girls (Cohort 1) have been recruited to date; an additional 12-13 will be recruited between 2/09 and 6/09 (Cohort 2). All from Cohort 1 have received at least 5 weekly massages and have completed pre and post surveys about their health behaviors and attitudes. At the time of the baseline questionnaire, most reported that they did not engage in routine exercise prior to their involvement in this program. Most respondents reported that they did not eat salad in the previous week and that their diets included no more that 3 servings of fruit or vegetables in the previous week. Low levels of self-worth were also noted at baseline.

Conclusions: Results of participant focus group and analysis will be completed in Summer 2009.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe program elements to successfully promote adolescent girls' use of massage 2)Discuss girls' responses to massage in terms of how this intervention affects their attitudes about health

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.