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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
A randomized controlled trials of the Rapid symptom shifting therapy
Scientific title
A trial of rapid symptom shift therapy compared with a control intervention for participants with significant anxiety.
Secondary ID [1] 296041 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
anxiety 309588 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 308408 308408 0 0

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
The intervention will be the rapid symptom shift and will be part of a cross-over study. The intervention group will receive the Rapid Symptom Shift which is based on neurolinguistics programming concepts. The interviewer asks the patient if they can describe where their anxiety is in space. While this may seem an unusual request, patients often have no difficulty in explaining where it is located. They are asked to describe their anxiety in terms of colour and shape. In almost all cases they say it is close but has no shape and a variety of colours. Then they are asked to change the shape to a circle and put it in front of them. They are then asked what a “safe” colour for them is and to make the circle that colour. That image is then moved away visually and pushed to the horizon where it is stood up like a 50 cent piece. They are asked to then make it a 10 cent piece and put it face down so it is not visible. At this point they are asked how they feel about their “anxiety or stress’ and this visualisation from experience in the clinic almost always provides a positive response.The moving of the image to the horizon we think is the essential difference between the intervention and the control intervention. The mode of the interview delivery will be face to face on a one to one basis. It is done once only and lasts about 3 minutes. The interview will be conducted private clinics. The comparison condition is a visualisation of washing a car. This will not involve any attempt to move the visual object (the car) to the horizon. The sessions last about 3 minutes and they are done once only. This is a cross-over design and the interviewer will use the remote randomisation to choose the starting intervention. There is no washout period and the intervention. The interviewers will include a medical doctor, a counselor and therapists trained in neurolinguistic programming.

Intervention code [1] 312379 0
Comparator / control treatment
Comparator / control treatment; The comparator treatment for the cross-over trial will be the comparison condition of a visualisation of washing a car. This will not involve any attempt to move the visual object (the car) to the horizon. The sessions last about 3 minutes and they are done once only.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 307372 0
Anxiety scores on the state anxiety scale (STAI)
Timepoint [1] 307372 0
At the end of each cross-over arm
Primary outcome [2] 307373 0
Heart rate variability (this will be available at one centre only)

Timepoint [2] 307373 0
At the end of each arm in the cross over trial.
Secondary outcome [1] 351684 0
Emotional quality of life on a zero to 100 scale where 100 equals perfect emotional health and zero the worst possible.
Timepoint [1] 351684 0
At the end of each arm in the cross over trial

Key inclusion criteria
Adults who score State trait anxiety score > 39
Able to read and write English and understand the information sheet.
Age 16 to 80
Minimum age
16 Years
Maximum age
80 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Unable to comprehend the information sheet and the consent form and <1 6yrs old.

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
By remote computer on website
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
We will use which is software that allows for blinded
and concealed randomisation once the baseline data has been entered. Patients are randomised to the control group or treatment arm(s) by
way of the standard built-in random number generator on the server.
This produces a random number between zero (assignment to the
control group) and the number of treatment arms (assignment to the
intervention arm). Each time the application launches, the random
number generator is initialized with a random value, which is obtained
from the system clock.
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?
The people receiving the treatment/s

Intervention assignment
Other design features
The study is a crossover design so all participants will get both the intervention and the control intervention. The participants will be told in the information sheet that they will only know the order of which they got at the end of the study and it may not be obvious what the difference between the intervention and control group is. The interviewer will administer the outcome questionnaires. To ensure an authentic and valid outcome participants will be required to answer a question stating that there was no interference with answering the questionnaire on the part of the interviewer.
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis
The analysis will be done by intention to treat analysis. The cross-over trial will use a paired t-test to analyse the results.

Recruitment status
Not yet recruiting
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment outside Australia
Country [1] 20833 0
New Zealand
State/province [1] 20833 0

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 300630 0
Name [1] 300630 0
Royal New Zealand College of GPs Auckland Faculty Charitable Trust
Address [1] 300630 0
785 Mt Eden Rd
PO Box 56340
Postal code 1024

Country [1] 300630 0
New Zealand
Primary sponsor type
Commercial sector/Industry
Greenstone Family Clinic
PO BOx 75447
Auckland 2102
New Zealand
New Zealand
Secondary sponsor category [1] 300140 0
Name [1] 300140 0
Address [1] 300140 0
Country [1] 300140 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 301419 0
Northern B Health and Disability Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 301419 0
Health and Disability Ethics Committees
Ministry of Health
133 Molesworth Street
PO Box 5013
Ethics committee country [1] 301419 0
New Zealand
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 301419 0
Approval date [1] 301419 0
Ethics approval number [1] 301419 0

Brief summary
The Primary purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of a technique called the rapid symptom shift which gets participants to push their anxiety to the horizon (visually) in order to make them feel less stressed. This part of the study will be done as a crossover trial. The study hypothesis is that the rapid symptom shift is more effective than the control condition where there is no symptom shift.
Trial website
There is no trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 86930 0
Prof Bruce Arroll
Address 86930 0
Department of General Practice
Univeristy of Auckland
Private Bag
Auckland 1142
Country 86930 0
New Zealand
Phone 86930 0
+64 21378180
Fax 86930 0
+64 3737624
Email 86930 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 86931 0
Prof Bruce Arroll
Address 86931 0
Department of General Practice
Univeristy of Auckland
Private Bag
Auckland 1142
Country 86931 0
New Zealand
Phone 86931 0
+64 21378180
Fax 86931 0
+64 3737624
Email 86931 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 86932 0
Prof Bruce Arroll
Address 86932 0
Department of General Practice
Univeristy of Auckland
Private Bag
Auckland 1142
Country 86932 0
New Zealand
Phone 86932 0
+64 21378180
Fax 86932 0
+64 3737624
Email 86932 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
No Results