A study of end-of-life care suggests significant gains from massage therapy if it’s preferred by the patient. Researchers also found the benefits may extend to the patient’s primary caregiver.

The study, “Three Lessons From a Randomized Trial of Massage and Meditation at End of Life: Patient Benefit, Outcome Measure Selection, and Design of Trials With Terminally Ill Patients,” involved 108 terminally-ill patients and their study partners, most of whom were spouses or children.

The research revealed the subjects and their study partners received significantly greater benefit if the terminally-ill patients were assigned to their preferred treatment, reported higher quality of life at the time of study enrollment and participated longer in the study.

A full report on this research will run in the October issue of MASSAGE Magazine.