The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Newark, NJ, has received a $1.4 million federal grant for a 2-year study to determine the optimal dosing regimen of massage that benefits patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a statement from the university.

Adam Perlman, MD, MPH, executive director of the Institute for Complementary & Alternative Medicine at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions, is the study’s principal investigator. Perlman led a 2006 pilot study which demonstrated that a course of Swedish massage was safe, and decreased pain and increased function, for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, says the university. Pilot study results were published in Annals of Internal Medicine in December 2006, and the new study will build upon that pilot study, according to the university.

Perlman says that 125 participants will be enrolled in this study, according to the statement. Subjects will be randomly assigned to one of five groups—a usual care group or one of four different massage groups. Among the massage groups, massages will vary by length (1 hour versus 30 minutes), and frequency (once a week versus twice a week) over a 2-month period.

UMDNJ will soon begin recruiting participants for the Livingston site, where more than half of the participants will be enrolled, says the university. Eligible participants should be at least 35 and have x-rays confirming diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee. Those who are interested in participating may call (973) 972-8564.

Like the pilot study, the new study is a collaboration involving UMDNJ, the Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston, and the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, says the university. It is funded with an R01 research grant through the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant money is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The ARRA was signed into law in February 2009 to help stem the current economic crisis.

Research will be conducted at Yale and at the Siegler Center for Integrative Medicine, located within the Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center, says the university.

[Source: UMDNJ]