The Effect of Abdominal Massage with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil on Constipation among Elderly Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

2 Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Noncommunicable Diseases Research Center, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran


Background: Constipation is one of the most prevalent problems during old age. Abdominal massage is a complementary method in controlling constipation. This study is conducted with the aim of determining the effect of abdominal massage with extra-virgin olive oil on constipation among the elderly.
Methods: In this single-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, 54 old individuals in Shiraz nursing homes during November 2018-March 2019 were selected randomly and then allocated to three groups of 18, based on block randomization. The first group underwent abdominal massage with olive oil for five consecutive days (each day one time for 15 minutes). The second group underwent abdominal massage with water similar to the first group. No specific intervention was applied to the control group. All three groups received their medical treatment. The constipation scores were examined using constipation assessment scale (CAS) before the intervention and on the sixth day. Data analysis was done through SPSS 22 using Chi-square, paired t-test, and ANOVA. P˂0.05 was considered as the level of statistical significance.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences among the three groups before the intervention. The results demonstrated that the mean score of constipation further decreased in the olive oil group (5.62±1.89 to 2.06±0.99) (P≤0.001) than the massage with water (5.05±1.25 to 3.11±0.99) (P=0.02), and the control group (4.44±1.38 to 5.22±1.35) (P=0.006).
Conclusion: Due to the greater effectiveness of abdominal massage with extra-virgin olive oil, the use of this method is recommended in treatment of constipation among the elderly.


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