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Efficacy of Distant Healing in Glioblastoma Treatment

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: January 23, 2002
Last updated: August 17, 2006
Last verified: July 2006
This study will assess whether distant healing effects survival time and loss of function for glioblastoma patients.

Condition Intervention Phase
Procedure: Distant Healing
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Efficacy of Distant Healing in Glioblastoma Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Estimated Enrollment: 150
Study Start Date: September 2000
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2005
Detailed Description:

Prayer, energy healing, and spiritual healing are widely used for all degrees of illness.

Eisenberg (1998) reported that more that 26% of his survey sample used "energy healing" within the last year. Most of these practitioners believe that their inner intentions result in the benefits, either through the agency of love, energy, or a Higher Power (Benor 1992). However, the conventional community attributes benefits from these interventions to the patient's hope, expectation, or experience of support from a practitioner (Benson 1996). The proposed study is a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial of "distant healing intentionality." Distant Healing (DH) is defined as a "mental intention on behalf of one person, to benefit another at a distance." This study will assess whether DH effects survival time and loss of function for glioblastoma patients under conditions where hope and expectation are controlled. The study will include approximately 150 patients who have rapidly progressing glioblastoma and are beginning radiotherapy. Patients will be photographed and assessed for quality of life, psychological status, and physical symptoms as well as health habits and attitude toward DH. After stratification by age and functional status (Karnofsky score), patients will be randomly assigned to either standard treatment with or without DH. Healers from diverse schools and backgrounds from communities across the United States will be assigned to patients by rotation, so that each patient in the DH group will be treated for two weeks by 10 different healers over the 20 week intervention. Experienced healers will have photographs of subjects and send "mental intention for health and well being" to subjects for one hour daily, three times per week. The healing intervention will be performed at a distance, and patients and healers will never meet, nor will patients know their group assignment. The study findings will provide the basis for developing a larger study, definitive trial.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed diagnosis of glioblastoma based on open resection.
  • Patient is within five weeks of diagnosis confirmed by pathology report.


  • Non-English speaking.
  • Inability or unwillingness to fill out questionnaires.
  • History of other cancers within the last 2 years (except superficial basal cell, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin), or other concurrent life-threatening conditions.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00029783

United States, California
California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
San Francisco, California, United States, 94115
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Andrew Freinkel, MD California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
  More Information Identifier: NCT00029783     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00058500
Other Study ID Numbers: R01AT000644-03 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: January 23, 2002
Last Updated: August 17, 2006

Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
Brain tumor
Distant healing
Distance healing

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neoplasms, Neuroepithelial
Neuroectodermal Tumors
Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue processed this record on May 25, 2017