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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 endorsed by the ANZCTR. Before participating in a study, talk to your health care provider and refer to this information for consumers
Trial registered on ANZCTR


Registration number
ACTRN12615000364572
Ethics application status
Approved
Date submitted
18/02/2015
Date registered
22/04/2015
Date last updated
25/11/2019
Date data sharing statement initially provided
25/11/2019
Date results information initially provided
25/11/2019
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Effectiveness of Bowen Therapy in the management of chronic widespread pain
Scientific title
The effect of Bowen Therapy on pain and function in people with chronic widespread pain
Secondary ID [1] 286198 0
None
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
U1111-1167-3284
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Chronic widespread pain 294234 0
Condition category
Condition code
Musculoskeletal 294549 294549 0 0
Other muscular and skeletal disorders
Neurological 294550 294550 0 0
Other neurological disorders
Alternative and Complementary Medicine 295005 295005 0 0
Other alternative and complementary medicine

Intervention/exposure
Study type
Interventional
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Six sessions of 45 mins of Bowen therapy over 6 weeks. Bowen therapy will be administered by a qualified Bowen therapist and involves a series of precise, gentle and painless pressure moves, called Bowen Moves, that are applied with the thumbs and fingers onto specific points of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Intervention code [1] 291215 0
Treatment: Other
Comparator / control treatment
1) Six sessions of 45 mins of sham Bowen therapy over 6 weeks
2) Usual care for 6 weeks

Sham therapy will involve "pseudo-Bowen" moves that will involve skin touch but will not include pressure.
Usual care will require participants to continue with their normal therapy (if any) over the 6-week period.
Control group
Placebo

Outcomes
Primary outcome [1] 294331 0
Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire II
Timepoint [1] 294331 0
1 week following the last intervention session and 6 weeks following the last intervention session.
Primary outcome [2] 294332 0
Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH)
Timepoint [2] 294332 0
1 week following the last intervention session and 6 weeks following the last intervention session.
Primary outcome [3] 294333 0
Lower Limb Tasks Questionnaire (LLTQ)
Timepoint [3] 294333 0
1 week following the last intervention session and 6 weeks following the last intervention session.
Secondary outcome [1] 313057 0
Pressure pain threshold assessed using a manual algometer
Timepoint [1] 313057 0
1 week following the last intervention session and 6 weeks following the last intervention session.
Secondary outcome [2] 313058 0
Heat pain threshold assessed using thermode
Timepoint [2] 313058 0
1 week following the last intervention session and 6 weeks following the last intervention session.

Eligibility
Key inclusion criteria
18 - 80 years of age, stable pain for the preceding 3 months, be taking consistent analgesic medication, report a pain score > 3/10 on most days.
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
80 Years
Gender
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
No
Key exclusion criteria
severe or unstable medical or psychiatric conditions, have received Bowen therapy previously, incapable of mounting and dismounting the therapy table without significant assistance, unable to provide informed consent, unhealed wounds or skin lesions, less than a month from any surgical procedure, BMI higher than 40, pregnancy

Study design
Purpose of the study
Treatment
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?
The people receiving the treatment/s

The people assessing the outcomes
Intervention assignment
Parallel
Other design features
Phase
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment
Recruitment status
Completed
Date of first participant enrolment
Anticipated
Actual
Date of last participant enrolment
Anticipated
Actual
Date of last data collection
Anticipated
Actual
Sample size
Target
Accrual to date
Final
Recruitment outside Australia
Country [1] 6672 0
New Zealand
State/province [1] 6672 0
Auckland

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 290771 0
Charities/Societies/Foundations
Name [1] 290771 0
Bowen Association Australia
Address [1] 290771 0
PO Box 6572
Wetherill Park
NSW 2164
Country [1] 290771 0
Australia
Primary sponsor type
University
Name
Auckland University of Technology
Address
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
Country
New Zealand
Secondary sponsor category [1] 289455 0
Individual
Name [1] 289455 0
Dr Kiho Lee, Otago Bowen Therapy
Address [1] 289455 0
Otago Bowen Therapy
35 Columba Ave
Calton Hill
Dunedin 9012
Country [1] 289455 0
New Zealand

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Approved
Ethics committee name [1] 292402 0
Health and Disability Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 292402 0
Ministry of Health
Ethics Department
Reception - Ground Floor
20 Aitken Street
Thorndon
WELLINGTON 6011
Ethics committee country [1] 292402 0
New Zealand
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 292402 0
02/03/2015
Approval date [1] 292402 0
22/12/2015
Ethics approval number [1] 292402 0
15/CEN/59

Summary
Brief summary
Bowen therapy is a manual therapy type of complementary medicine developed in the mid-1980s. It involves precise, gentle and painless pressure moves, called Bowen Moves, applied with the thumbs and fingers onto specific points of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Preliminary evidence has indicated that it can reduce pain in some chronic pain conditions; however, the evidence to date has been provided from uncontrolled pilot studies. The goal of the current study is to determine the effects of Bowen Therapy on pain and function in people with chronic widespread pain. A randomised controlled trial will be undertaken with three groups. One group will receive real Bowen therapy, one group will receive sham Bowen therapy, and the third group will receive ongoing care. Outcome measures assessing pain function will be obtained prior to the intervention, one week after the 6-week intervention, and 6 weeks after the intervention. The study will identify any specific effects that Bowen therapy has on the function of the pain system and how this influences function.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Contacts
Principal investigator
Name 55034 0
A/Prof Gwyn Lewis
Address 55034 0
Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute
Auckland University of Technology
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
Country 55034 0
New Zealand
Phone 55034 0
+64 9 921 9999
Fax 55034 0
Email 55034 0
gwyn.lewis@aut.ac.nz
Contact person for public queries
Name 55035 0
Dr Kiho Lee
Address 55035 0
Otago Bowen Therapy
35 Columba Ave, Calton Hill
Dunedin 9012
Country 55035 0
New Zealand
Phone 55035 0
+ 64 3 487 6880
Fax 55035 0
Email 55035 0
kiho.lee@obt.co.nz
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 55036 0
A/Prof Gwyn Lewis
Address 55036 0
Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute
Auckland University of Technology
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
Country 55036 0
New Zealand
Phone 55036 0
+64 9 921 9999
Fax 55036 0
Email 55036 0
gwyn.lewis@aut.ac.nz

Data sharing statement
Will individual participant data (IPD) for this trial be available (including data dictionaries)?
No
No/undecided IPD sharing reason/comment
What supporting documents are/will be available?
No other documents available
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
No
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
No
Results – plain English summary
the study involved 31 people who had long-term pain in multiple locations across the body. All participants received 6 sessions of manual therapy (Bowen Therapy), and we assessed how this influenced your pain, movement, and the function of your pain nervous system. Half of the participants received real Bowen Therapy and half of the participants received fake (sham) Bowen Therapy. The results were compared between the two groups.

We found evidence that real Bowen Therapy reduced the level of pain that people were experiencing at the end of the 6 sessions. There was a trend to a continued reduction in pain over the next 6 weeks but this was not clear. There was no change in pain in the people who received the sham therapy. There were no differences in arm or leg function between those who received real and sham Bowen Therapy, and we were unable to provide any clear information on how Bowen Therapy influences the pain nervous system.

While the results are promising, more trials are needed to provide further information on the effects of Bowen Therapy on chronic pain.