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Distance Healing in Wound Healing

This study has been completed.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Marilyn Schlitz, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute Identifier:
First received: August 25, 2003
Last updated: October 17, 2014
Last verified: October 2014
This trial examines the impact of patients' knowledge of an experienced distant healer's efforts to heal them on measures of wound healing, psychosocial functioning, and physiological symptoms after plastic surgery.

Condition Intervention Phase
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Behavioral: Distance healing
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Placebo Effects in Distance Healing of Wounds

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Collagen deposition in a surrogate wound [ Time Frame: 8 days ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • POMS normalized mood scores [ Time Frame: 8 days ]
    Compared from baseline to end of distant healing period

Other Outcome Measures:
  • SF-36 Mental Composite Score [ Time Frame: 8 days ]
  • SF-36 Physical Composite Score [ Time Frame: 8 days ]

Enrollment: 72
Study Start Date: November 2003
Study Completion Date: May 2008
Primary Completion Date: May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Distant Healing
This group received distant healing but was blinded to the condition.
Behavioral: Distance healing
Placebo Comparator: Non-blinded Distant Healing
This group received the distant healing intervention and was called every day they were receiving to be told they were receiving it, therefore enhancing expectancy.
Behavioral: Distance healing
No Intervention: Blinded Control
This group was blinded to the intervention condition and did not receive any distant healing.


Ages Eligible for Study:   34 Years to 64 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Women undergoing major plastic surgery (> 2 hours in length)
  • Health status is excellent with no systemic disease, no limitation on activity, no danger of death or disease of one body system, well-controlled underlying disease

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Remove history of breast or other cancers
  • History of radiation therapy to the abdomen or any radiation within the past three months
  • Non-English speaking
  • Unable or unwilling to fill out questionnaires
  • Current smoker
  • Morbid obesity
  • Circulatory inadequacies (i.e., diabetes, hypovolemia)
  • Nutritional deficits as evidenced by neutropenia (WBC <2500/ml) or hypoalbuminemia (albumin <3.3mmg/dl) / chart review
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00067717

United States, California
Complementary Medicine Research Institute
San Francisco, California, United States, 94115
Sponsors and Collaborators
California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Marilyn J Schlitz, PhD California Pacific Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: Marilyn Schlitz, Senior Scientist, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute Identifier: NCT00067717     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT001437 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: August 25, 2003
Last Updated: October 17, 2014

Keywords provided by California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute:
breast reconstruction surgery
distance healing
wound healing processed this record on April 28, 2017