EXPLORING PATIENT SAFETY ISSUES IN MASSAGE THERAPY AND UNDERSTANDING PATIENT SAFETY INCIDENTS (ADVERSE EVENTS)
Gowan, Donelda Mae 1967-
Background Despite the presence of over 17,000 massage therapists (MTs) within regulated provincial healthcare systems in Canada, a dearth of information on patient safety persists. The views of massage therapy (MT) experts about patient safety is unknown while classification of adverse events (AEs) is not standardized. The objectives of this study are: 1) To explore MT regulators’ views on patient safety in the practice of MT; 2) To explore taxonomies for describing patient safety incidents (PSIs) or AEs in the published literature and compare to international frameworks and 3) To reflect on how the findings of the study aid the patient safety culture of MT in Canada. Methods A mixed methods approach included a focus group with 10 members of the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia. Data was analyzed with thematic analysis. Then a scoping review in ten peer-reviewed electronic databases limited to English as well as bibliographies, citations and key authors was conducted. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied to all records independently by two reviewers and data was extracted and charted. Consultation with stakeholders facilitated knowledge transfer. Results The results of the focus group investigation show that MT can usefully be characterized as a pantheon built on a foundation of trust, and supported by three pillars: a well-defined role for the massage therapist, clear treatment expectations, and protection of unique patient vulnerability. In the scoping study, the titles of 967 articles were identified and their abstracts reviewed; 67 articles were retrieved and read. 14 of them met the final inclusion criteria and were retained for analysis. Mapping shows lack of uniformity but shared elements of AE classification that conform to international standards. Stakeholders recommended translating this new knowledge widely. Conclusions A lack of standardization of operational definitions of the Canadian MT provider and the intervention impedes MT research and a robust patient safety culture. The findings of this study demonstrate the views that massage can hurt and it can harm. Discourse on patient safety is fraught with competing interpretations. There is a need for a Canadian MT specific patient safety framework including standardization in curriculum, education and licensing.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentCommunity Health and Epidemiology
ProgramCommunity and Population Health Science
CommitteeD'Eon, Marcel; Abonyi, Sylvia; Harrison, Liz; Premkumar, Kalyani
Copyright DateOctober 2017