BACKGROUND: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonplace in Australia with massage being a popular CAM modality. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: 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


J Bodyw Mov Ther

Publication Date





734 - 739


Complementary medicine, Manual therapies, Massage, Quality of life, SF-36, Australia, Complementary Therapies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Health Status, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Longitudinal Studies, Massage, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Pain Management, Quality of Life, Socioeconomic Factors, Women's Health