Massage Therapy in Children with Asthma: A systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

A 2017 meta-analysis of five databases ranging from January 1, 1990 to December 13, 2016 were reviewed. The review included 14 researches with 1299 patients. Conclusions show massage therapy has a significantly positive effect on children with asthma, improving pulmonary function of large airways and reducing plasma concentrations of PAF (platelet activating factor) and prostoglandin, which are known bronchoconstrictors and edema inducers. The search showed a need for studies with less risk of bias and better methodology to further confirm effectiveness of massage treatments for asthma. Still, compared with the control group, there was remarkable improvement with respect to pulmonary function. The calming effect of massage may be worth discussing with parents of asthmatic children.