Massage Therapy Canada

Health News Podcast
PODCAST Episode 3: Patient safety and adverse events

Donelda Gowan maintains adverse events are common with massage therapy intervention. In her 2017 dissertation, Gowan posits, "Safety in massage therapy is understudied. There is little information on what constitutes an adverse event from the perspective of stakeholders including MTs, other health care providers, insurers, regulators, educators, and patients."

April 15, 2019  By Staff

Today we discuss the frequency of adverse events related to massage therapy, concepts of hurt versus harm and harm versus healing, patient and practitioner perspectives on adverse events, and what the profession can do to measure and monitor adverse events to inform the profession at large, and build public trust.


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About Donelda Gowan,RMT, BA (Hons), MSc, PhD

Donelda Gowan graduated from the Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy in Sutton, Ontario in 1987. From the University of Saskatchewan, Donelda holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Psychology, a Master of Science degree in Community Health & Epidemiology, and a Doctorate in Population Health Science.

Dr. Gowan is Associate Director of the Centre for Integrative Medicine in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, where she holds an Adjunct Professor appointment.


She is the past co-chair of the Canadian Massage Therapy Research Network and currently serves as Chair-Elect for IN-CAM, the Canadian Chapter of the International Society for Complementary Medical Research and as the Research Chair for the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan. She is the co-author of the Federation of Massage Therapy Regulatory Authorities of Canada’s report on regulatory issues in the profession of massage therapy and several peer-reviewed publications.

Donelda enjoys equally her roles as a knowledge broker, educator, researcher and therapist. Her main research interests include massage therapy, pain, integrative medicine, and knowledge translation and transfer.

Research Utilization and Evidence-Based Practice Among Saskatchewan Massage Therapists 

Dissertation: Exploring Patient Safety Issues In Massage Therapy and Understanding Patient Safety Incidents (Adverse Events) 

Preventing Brain-Drain: Opportunities and Challenges for Higher Education 

Integrating the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health Model into Massage Therapy Research, Education, and Practice 

Massage Research Grant Recipients Announced



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