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The Effects of Abdominal Massage on Functional (Primary) Chronic Constipation

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: NCT03764995
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 5, 2018
Last Update Posted : March 19, 2021
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
SERAP KAYA, Hacettepe University

Brief Summary:
The aim of the present study is to investigate the efficacy of abdominal massage in patients with functional (primary) chronic constipation. The present study is designed as a randomized placebo controlled. Since the placebo group is included in the research design, if there is a greater improvement of symptoms of constipation and quality of life in the massage group when compared to the control group, it will be determined that this effect is not related to a placebo effect. If the efficacy of Abdominal Massage is revealed with a placebo controlled design, the therapist effect will be eliminated and further evidence on a well-known massage technique in functional (primary) chronic constipation, a common gastrointestinal problem, will be provided. The results of the present placebo controlled randomized trial will indicate that the need for pharmacological agents and the side effects associated with these agents will be reduced. According to the literature, there are studies that investigate the effects of abdominal massage on symptoms of constipation and quality of life. However, it has generally been used for secondary constipation or two applications have been compared. In addition, there is no randomized placebo-controlled study investigating the effect of abdominal massage on severity of chronic constipation and quality of life.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Constipation Other: Standard bowel management Other: Abdominal massage Other: Placebo Ultrasound Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Constipation is a subjective symptom that defines as inadequate defecation including several symptoms as follows: the sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation, hard stool, straining, and difficulty in defecation. The general prevalence of constipation in adults is 16%. The pre-defined risk factors are women gender, advanced age, non-white ethnicity, low socio-economic level, decreased physical activity underlying diseases, and medications. Chronic constipation affects quality of life and causes problems such as anxiety, depression, somatization, sleep disorders, sexual dysfunctions, school/work absenteeism. In the following periods, it causes serious comorbidities including dyspnea, gastro-esophageal reflux, hypertension, thyroid diseases, vaginitis, dyspareunia, diabetes, and fibromyalgia.

In the treatment of chronic constipation, conservative approaches (lifestyle change and physiotherapy applications) are used at the first phase. If conservative approaches are not helpful for patients pharmacological and surgical treatment can be performed based on the characteristics of patients, respectively. Pharmacological treatments aim to increase the frequency of spontaneous bowel movements, to reduce abdominal pain and swelling, and to improve stool consistency. However, side effects such as abdominal bloating, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, stomach gas, nausea, diarrhea, headache and dyspnea are reported by patients in the following period. Furthermore, medications for constipation management are not cost-effective. Therefore, the level of evidence on conservative approaches with low cost, non-invasive and no-side effects in constipation treatment should be increased.

Physiotherapy approaches to alleviate chronic constipation symptoms include such as defecation training, abdominal massage, connective tissue massage, electrical stimulation, Kinesio-taping, anorectal biofeedback, and exercise training. Abdominal massage application in constipation is used in constipation management since the early 1870s and it is popular in recent years. The benefits of abdominal massage are known as follows: reduction in the abdominal muscle tension, improvement of local circulation, and stimulation of peristaltic movements. The technique of abdominal massage consists of 5 stages as follows: abdominal muscle stroking, colon stroking, colon kneading, colon stroking, and abdominal muscle stroking.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 74 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effects of Abdominal Massage on Functional (Primary) Chronic Constipation
Actual Study Start Date : December 1, 2018
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 1, 2021
Actual Study Completion Date : February 1, 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Constipation

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Abdominal Massage Other: Standard bowel management
Lifestyle advices such as increasing fluid and fibre intake, improving physical activity level, and taking the ideal posture for defecation (squatting position) with a two-pages document.

Other: Abdominal massage
Abdominal massage will be performed three days a week for four weeks. Each session will last around 15-20 minutes.

Placebo Comparator: Placebo Ultrasound Other: Standard bowel management
Lifestyle advices such as increasing fluid and fibre intake, improving physical activity level, and taking the ideal posture for defecation (squatting position) with a two-pages document.

Other: Placebo Ultrasound
Placebo ultrasound (US) will be applied to the abdominal region for four weeks, 2 days of the week and 15 minutes per day.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Severity of constipation [ Time Frame: Change in severity of constipation from baseline at 4 weeks ]
    Constipation Severity Instrument (CSI) will be used to evaluate the severity of the constipation. CSI was designed to evaluate defecation frequency and consistency as well as the level of straining experienced by individuals during bowel movement. There are three subscales of CSI, obstructive defecation (OT), colonic inertia (CI), and pain. Higher scores of CSI indicate more severe constipation.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of life [ Time Frame: Change in quality of life from baseline at 4 weeks ]
    Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life Questionnaire (PAC-QOL) will be used to evaluate quality of life. This questionnaire includes a total of 28 items in 4 subscales: worries and concerns (11 items), physical discomfort (4 items), psychosocial discomfort (8 items), and satisfaction (5 items). Higher scores of PAC-QOL indicate more negative effects of constipation on the quality of life.

  2. Stool consistency [ Time Frame: Change from baseline stool consistency at 4 weeks ]
    The stool consistency will be evaluated using the Bristol Stool Scale (BSS), quick and useful indicator of the colonic transit time , a seven-point scale (from 1 to 7), type 1=separate hard lumps, like nuts; 2=sausage shaped but lumpy; 3=like a sausage or snake, but with cracks on its surface; 4=like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft; 5=soft blobs with clear cut edges; 6=pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool; 7=water, no solid pieces. While type 1 and 2 indicate hard stool, type 3,4 and 5 show looser (ideal) stool.

  3. Symptoms of constipation [ Time Frame: Change from baseline symptoms of constipation at 4 weeks ]
    In order to gather information regarding the participants' symptoms of constipation, they will be asked to complete a 7-day bowel diary during the treatment period. This diary includes items regarding the frequency of bowel movement, stool consistency, defecation time, feeling of incomplete evacuation, and changes in food and liquid consumption.

  4. Abdominal pain, abdominal bloating severity and the effect of life [ Time Frame: Change from baseline symptoms of constipation at 4 weeks ]
    Visual Analogue Scale (VAS): This scale is a 10 cm horizontal line. 0 = no pain / bloating / meaning no effect, 10 = unbearable pain / bloating / experiencing

  5. Physical activity levels [ Time Frame: Change from baseline symptoms of constipation at 4 weeks ]
    The physical activity levels of the individuals in the last seven days are evaluated under 4 headings (severe activities, moderate activity, walking and sitting). While calculating the total score, the MET-min scores of the patients are obtained by multiplying the duration of activity and frequency of activities (number of days) by the BAT values given to activities (severe activity = 8 MET, moderate activity = 4 MET, walking = 3.3 MET)

  6. Patient global change scale [ Time Frame: Change from baseline patient global change at 4 weeks ]
    It is a 7-item scale that evaluates the perception of the change in the effect of constipation and related complaints on the life of the patient compared to the study. The options on this scale are ''much much better'', ''much better'', 'a little better'', ''no change", ''a little worse'', ''much worse'', ''much much worse''

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age between 18 and 65 years.
  • Diagnosed with chronic constipation according to Rome IV criteria

Exclusion Criteria:

  • A recent history of abdominal surgery
  • Intestinal obstruction, ileus, colon cancer
  • Enteric neuropathic patients: Diabetic intestinal neuropathy, Hirschsprung's disease, Megacolon, Megarectum
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Metabolic diseases: Cancer, Chronic renal failure, Severe cardiovascular disease, Hepatic failure, Hepatosplenomegaly, Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Neurological diseases: Parkinson, Spinal cord injury, Multiple sclerosis, Cerebro-vascular event,
  • Paraplegia Mental problem to prevent co-operative treatment
  • Pregnancy and lactation

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): NCT03764995

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Ceren Gursen
Ankara, Turkey, 06100
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hacettepe University
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Responsible Party: SERAP KAYA, Doc. Dr., Hacettepe University Identifier: NCT03764995    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2018-261/2018-32
First Posted: December 5, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 19, 2021
Last Verified: March 2021
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by SERAP KAYA, Hacettepe University:
abdominal massage
chronic constipation
primary constipation
functional constipation
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Signs and Symptoms, Digestive