Registered Massage Therapists’ Intention to Use Standardized Outcome Measures (SOMs)

Robert Hemsworth

Purpose: Professional use of standardized outcome measures (SOMs) is important for establishing treatment effectiveness, efficiency, and justification. A research paucity on the use of SOMs exists in massage therapy (MT). This project investigated registered massage therapists’ (RTMs’) intention to use SOMs.

Methods: A mixed-methods approach comprising non-randomized sampling to select 320 RMTs for electronic survey responses was used. Findings were reported with multiple regression and thematic analysis.

Findings: Attitudes and perceptions of control significantly influenced RMTs’ intention to use SOMs. Beliefs about SOM practice benefits and barriers were represented in three themes: behavioral, normative, and control beliefs. RMT ability and resource-related practice barriers were found to weaken RMT control over SOM behavior.

Conclusion: Attitudes and perceptions of control most influence SOM behavior by RMTs. RMTs perceive numerous resource and ability-related practice barriers that weaken control over SOM behavior. Future interventions should address time, knowledge, access, and skills required to perform SOMs in MT.