Update to the AMBER Study

After eighteen months of recruitment finished in summer 2016, the AMBER study ended on 191 patients. This randomised, controlled clinical trial examined the use of abdominal massage to treat neurogenic bowel disorder in MS patients. Patients enrolled on the trial were randomised to one of two arms: ‘control,’ receiving advice on diet, fluid intake and how to position oneself on the toilet; ‘intervention,’ receiving training in administering the abdominal massage (either self-massage or by a carer) coupled with the bowel care advice. The 191 trial participants were recruited from 12 sites throughout the United Kingdom.

Even though recruitment to the trial has ended, follow-up of enrolled patients will continue until the end of 2016. Analyses of results are ongoing and should be fully completed by autumn 2017. Discussions are currently taking place about future plans to roll-out the treatment should it be found to be effective. Interested persons may receive updates about the trial results at www.gcu.ac.uk/amber.

“It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Health Technology Assessment Programme (Project: 12/127/12) and sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University. The day-to-day running of the trial is managed by a team within the NMAHP Unit, Department of Health and Life Sciences.”

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