Study Design:A prospective intervention of noninvasive abdominal massage using an electromechanical apparatus on bowel function in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).Objectives:To evaluate the effects of noninvasive abdominal massage using an electromechanical apparatus on bowel function in individuals with SCI and chronic bowel problems. This easy-to-use apparatus can be applied by the patients at home without the help of a therapist.Setting:Homes of community-living individuals.Methods:Twenty-one subjects with SCI were instructed to use the massage apparatus daily for 20 min during a 10-week period. Compliance, effects, side effects and user satisfaction were assessed using questionnaires.Results:Fifteen subjects completed the 10-week period. Although some characteristics of defecation changed positively for some of the subjects (time to result, amount, consistency), none felt better or more confident after using the massage device. In addition, some individuals experienced negative side effects (predominantly pain or discomfort). The overall satisfaction with the device is ambiguous, with half of the group judging the device as insufficient and the other half as at least adequate.Conclusion:The use of an electromechanical massage device does not improve bowel function in most individuals with SCI who have chronic bowel problems. Why some subjects benefit and others do not should be investigated in future studies.