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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, PH. D., Zacharias


CiteScore 2017: 1.41

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.472
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.564

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1553-3840
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“I am a healthcare practitioner”: A qualitative exploration of massage therapists’ professional identity

Amanda Baskwill
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University and Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness, Humber College, 205 Humber College Blvd, Toronto, Ontario M9W5L7, Canada
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/ Meredith Vanstone
  • McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory, and Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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/ Del Harnish
  • Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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/ Kelly Dore
  • McMaster Education Research, Innovation and Theory and Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
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Published Online: 2019-09-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2019-0067

Abstract

Background

A division has been described among massage therapists, some who identify as healthcare providers while others identify as service providers. The perceived division creates confusion about what it means to be a massage therapist.

Objective

This qualitative study answered, “How do massage therapists in Ontario describe their professional identity?”

Methods

Qualitative description (QD) was used and data were collected from 33 massage therapists using semi-structured interviews.

Results

The resulting description of massage therapists’ identity in Ontario is the first of its kind. The identity described includes passion as professional motivation in practice, the importance of confidence and competence, a focus on the therapeutic relationship, individualized care, and patient empowerment, and a desire to be recognized for their role within the healthcare system.

Conclusion

There is still much to be investigated about massage therapists’ identity. Future research will explore whether this description resonates with a larger sample of massage therapists in Ontario.

Keywords: mixed methods; qualitative content analysis; qualitative description

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About the article

Received: 2019-03-10

Accepted: 2019-06-24

Published Online: 2019-09-12


Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 20190067, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2019-0067.

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