Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine PTAs' perceptions of the utilization of massage in various settings.

Subjects: The subjects were 275 randomly selected licensed Broward County PTAs.

Methods: A self generated survey was used to obtain the demographic and descriptive data. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to determine trends and identify factors influencing PTAs' use of massage.

Results: The return rate was 35%. The majority of respondents administered massage treatments in their settings. The average number of hours of massage education received in school was stated as between 1 and 20 hours. The most frequently used strokes were effleurage, petrissage, friction, neuromuscular therapy and Myofascial Release. The most commonly cited goals for the use of massage were pain relief, edema reduction, prevention of adhesions and relaxation. The most frequently used modalities chosen instead of massage were perceived to be: heat, ultrasound, electrosimulation and ice. The perceived reasons for their use were primarily specificity, efficiency and effectiveness. The majority of respondents perceived that the use of massage has decreased in the last ten years and that managed care has had a negative impact on its use.

Conclusion: The results indicate that massage continues to be used in physical therapy however, for a variety of reasons, there appears to be a decline in frequency of use.


Physical Therapy

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