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REST: Reducing End-of-Life Symptoms With Touch

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00065195
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 21, 2003
Last Update Posted : January 25, 2008
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine whether massage therapy is effective in reducing pain and distress and improving quality of life among cancer patients at life's end.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Neoplasms Pain Procedure: Moving touch therapy Procedure: Nonmoving touch therapy Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Relieving physical and emotional symptoms is a key component of end-of-life care. Despite care, terminally ill patients are still significantly burdened by unrelieved symptoms. Therapies that have potential to alleviate these symptoms deserve thorough investigation.

This study will last 3 weeks. Participants in this study will be randomly assigned to receive six sessions of either moving or nonmoving touch therapy, in addition to usual hospice care, for 2 weeks. Moving touch therapy consists of massage therapy in which a trained therapist continually touches a person's body. The nonmoving touch therapy will be conducted by volunteers who have no previous experience in massage. Participants in this group will have a volunteer rub specific body parts for 3-minute intervals. Because current evidence suggests that thoughts of healing may influence the effectiveness of touch therapy, volunteers in the nonmoving therapy group will distract their minds to avoid thinking of healing processes. In both groups, the person administering the touch therapy will note all interruptions during a session, including talk, music, and television. Interviews about medication use, pain, and quality of life will be used to assess participants; these interviews will be conducted at study start, immediately before and after each therapy session, and at Weeks 1, 2, and 3.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 440 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Efficacy of Massage at the End of Life
Study Start Date : November 2003
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2007
Actual Study Completion Date : March 2007

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Decreased pain

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Less total analgesic medication use.
  2. Improved quality of life
  3. Decreased physical symptom distress
  4. Decreased emotional symptom distress

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Advanced cancer, with at least moderate pain 1 week prior to study entry
  • Life expectancy of at least 3 weeks
  • Able to speak English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Massage therapy within 1 month prior to study entry
  • Current use of anticoagulants
  • Platelet count less than 10,000
  • Unstable spine that would interfere with touch therapy

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00065195

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United States, California
San Diego Hospice
San Diego, California, United States, 92103
United States, Colorado
Pike's Peak Hospice and Palliative Care
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, 80903
Pathways at Hospice of Metro Denver
Denver, Colorado, United States, 80246
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Denver, Colorado, United States, 80262
Hospice of St. John
Lakewood, Colorado, United States, 80215
United States, Florida
Hope Hospice and Palliative Care
Fort Myers, Florida, United States, 33908
LifePath Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc.
Tampa, Florida, United States, 33609
United States, Massachusetts
Hospice Care in the Berkshires, Inc.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States, 01201
United States, North Carolina
Hospice at Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, 28204
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Principal Investigator: Jean S. Kutner, MD University of Colorado, Denver
Principal Investigator: Marlaine Smith, RN, PhD University of Colorado, Denver
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00065195    
Other Study ID Numbers: R01AT001006-01A2 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: July 21, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 25, 2008
Last Verified: January 2008
Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
Palliative Care