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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2018, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (2): 106-112.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.02.002

• Study Protocol • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of laying on of hands with and without a spiritual context on pain and functionality of older women with knee osteoarthritis: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Katy Andrade Monteiro Zacaron a, b, Néliada Silva Mendes c, Yuri Cottae Silva a, Giancarlo Lucchetti a#br#   

  1. a School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora 36036-330, Brazil
    b Institute of Life Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Governador Valadares 35012-140, Brazil
    c Faculty of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora 36036-330, Brazil

  • Received:2017-09-22 Accepted:2017-12-12 Online:2018-03-10 Published:2018-02-03
  • Contact: Giancarlo Lucchetti; E-mail:

Laying on of hands (LooH) is a culturally-accepted therapy in several traditions. In Brazil, “Spiritism” (third-largest religious tradition in number of followers) uses LooH with the name of “Spiritist Passe” (SP). However, there are few studies assessing SP’s role in medical outcomes. The present study aims to investigate the effects of LooH, with and without a spiritual context, on pain, joint stiffness, and functional capacity of older women (≥60?years old) with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).


In this triple-blind, prospective randomized controlled trial, older women with KOA are assigned to three groups: LooH with a spiritual context group, LooH group without a spiritual context, and a control group receiving no intervention. Patients are assessed by a blinded researcher at baseline, 8?weeks, and 16?weeks. Pain, joint stiffness, and functional capacity are assessed using Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index. Other measures such as anxiety, depression, gait speed, and quality of life will also be assessed. To detect differences between groups, a post-intervention comparison between the three groups and a mean change (post-pre) comparison among the three groups will be done using analysis of variance. All statistical analyses will be performed using an intention-to-treat approach and a per-protocol analysis.


A pragmatic design using SP, LooH without spiritual context, and no LooH may provide further scientific evidence on SP’s feasibility and efficacy for KOA patients.

Trial registration Identifier NCT02917356.

Key words: Complementary therapies, Spiritual therapies, Therapeutic touch, Spiritual healing, Holistic therapies, Knee osteoarthritis

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