REST: Reducing End-of-Life Symptoms With Touch

National Institutes of Health (NIH) logo

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Status and phase

Completed
Phase 2

Conditions

Neoplasms
Pain

Treatments

Procedure: Moving touch therapy
Procedure: Nonmoving touch therapy

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

NIH

Identifiers

NCT00065195
R01AT001006-01A2

Details and patient eligibility

About

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.

Full 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.

Sex

All

Ages

18+ years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

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

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Single Blind

Trial contacts and locations

9

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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