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The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonplace in Australia with massage being a popular CAM modality.This is a sub-study from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). A total of 2120 mid-age (56-61 year old) women who consulted a CAM practitioner were invited to participate in this study. The Short-Form (SF-36) questionnaire was used to measure women's health-related quality of life.A total of 1800 women returned the questionnaire generating a response rate of 85.0%. Overall, 912 (50.7%) women visited a massage therapist in the previous 12 months. Women with lower quality of life scores in terms of bodily pain (p = 0.012) and/or emotional health (p = 0.029) were more likely to consult a massage therapist than those with higher scores.The implications of these associations are important for informing healthcare providers in providing effective and coordinated care for patients with pain and mood symptoms.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of bodywork and movement therapies

Publication Date





734 - 739


Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW, Australia. Electronic address:


Humans, Complementary Therapies, Massage, Longitudinal Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Interpersonal Relations, Mental Health, Health Status, Quality of Life, Socioeconomic Factors, Middle Aged, Women's Health, Australia, Female, Pain Management