BACKGROUND: Hand massage therapies have been used to relieve anxiety and pain in various clinical situations. The effects of machine-based hand massage on preoperative anxiety in ambulatory surgery settings have not been evaluated.

PURPOSE: This prospective study was designed to investigate the effect of machine-based hand massage on preoperative anxiety and vital signs in ambulatory surgery patients.

METHODS: One hundred ninety-nine patients aged 18 years and older who were scheduled to receive ambulatory surgery were recruited from the Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital in Taipei City, Taiwan. The patients were assigned randomly to the experimental group (n = 101), which received presurgical machine-based hand massage therapy, and the control group (n = 98), which received no intervention. The patients in both groups completed the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory short form at preintervention (baseline) and postintervention.

RESULTS: Within-group comparisons of Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory short form scores showed significant decreases between preintervention and postintervention scores in the experimental group (44.3 ± 11.2 to 37.9 ± 8.7) and no significant change in the control group. Within-group comparisons of vital signs revealed a significant increase in mean respiration rate between baseline and postintervention in both groups (both ps < .05). Blood pressure was found to have decreased significantly only in the control group at postintervention (p < .05). No significant preintervention to postintervention change in pulse was observed in either group.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study indicate that machine-based hand massage reduces anxiety significantly in patients awaiting ambulatory surgery while not significantly affecting their vital signs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere152
JournalThe journal of nursing research : JNR
Issue number3
Early online dateApr 9 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2021


  • State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)
  • ambulatory surgery
  • anxiety
  • hand massage
  • preoperative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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