Clinical Trial: Polarity Therapy for American Indian Caregivers of Dementia Patients

This study is currently recruiting patients.

Sponsored by: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Information provided by: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)


The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of polarity therapy (PT), a complementary and alternative medicine treatment, in American Indian caregivers living in the Pacific Northwest.

Condition Treatment or Intervention Phase
 Procedure: Polarity therapy
Phase I

MedlinePlus related topics:  Depression;   Stress

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Treatment, Randomized, Open Label, Active Control, Parallel Assignment, Efficacy Study

Official Title: Polarity Therapy for Dementia Caregivers

Further Study Details: 
Primary Outcomes: Perceived stress
Expected Total Enrollment:  50

Study start: August 2004;  Expected completion: May 2006
Last follow-up: April 2006;  Data entry closure: April 2006

The caregivers of people with dementia experience high levels of stress and are at particularly high risk for physical and mental illness. Although stress and illness are serious problems among American Indian caregivers in the Northwest, few studies have concentrated on this population. PT is a treatment that involves awareness of one's energy field and touch therapy; it has been shown to provide several physiological, biological, and psychological benefits. This study will determine whether PT is more effective than respite from caregiving in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression and improving health function and overall quality of life in American Indian caregivers.

Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either eight weekly sessions of PT or 3 hours of weekly respite from caregiving for 8 weeks. At the beginning of the study and at Weeks 4 and 8, participants will complete questionnaires and self-report scales on stress, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. In addition, heart rate variability and levels of cortisol will be measured at study entry and Weeks 4 and 8.


Ages Eligible for Study:  35 Years   -   65 Years,  Genders Eligible for Study:  Both

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Caregiver of a family member with dementia for at least 4 hours a day
  • American Indian

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Nerve disorders caused by diabetes
  • Use of beta blockers

Location and Contact Information

Leslie E. Korn, PhD, MPH      360-486-1044

      Center for World Indigenous Studies, Olympia,  Washington,  98502,  United States; Recruiting
Leslie E. Korn, PhD, MPH  360-486-1044 
Rudolph C. Ryser, PhD  360-486-1044 
Leslie E. Korn, PhD, MPH,  Principal Investigator
Rudolph C. Ryser, PhD,  Sub-Investigator

Study chairs or principal investigators

Leslie E. Korn, PhD, MPH,  Principal Investigator,  Center for World Indigenous Studies   

More Information

Click here for more information about The Center for Traditional Medicine.

Click here for more information on The Center for World Indigenous Studies.

Study ID Numbers:  R21 AT001627-01A1
Record last reviewed:  February 2005
Last Updated:  February 10, 2005
Record first received:  December 22, 2004 Identifier:  NCT00100035
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government processed this record on 2005-04-08

Cache Date: April 9, 2005