Studies on the Efficacy of Therapeutic Touch
The effect of therapeutic touch on pain and fatigue of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (2008)
Source: AGHABATI, N., MOHAMMADI, E., POUR ESMAIEL, Z. The Effect of Therapeutic Touch on Pain and Fatigue of Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine [online]. 2010 Sep; 7(3): 375–381. Published online 2008 Feb 2. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen006, PMCID: PMC2887328 [cit. 2018-07-28]. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2887328/
Published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine – www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/ .
Detail: Despite major advances in pain management, cancer pain is managed poorly in 80% of the patients with cancer. Due to deleterious side effects of pharmacology therapy in these people, there is an urgent need for clinical trials of non-pharmacological interventions. To examine the effect of therapeutic touch (TT) on the pain and fatigue of the cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, a randomized and three-groups experimental study-experimental (TT), placebo (placebo TT), and control (usual care)-was carried out. Ninety patients undergoing chemotherapy, exhibiting pain and fatigue of cancer, were randomized into one of the three groups in the Cancer Center of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, Iran. Pain and fatigue were measured and recorded by participants before and after the intervention for 5 days (once a day). The intervention consisted of 30 min TT given once a day for 5 days between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of pain and the Rhoten Fatigue Scale (RFS) were completed for 5 days before and after the intervention by the subjects.
Conclusion: The TT (significant) was more effective in decreasing pain and fatigue of the cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy than the usual care group, while the placebo group indicated a decreasing trend in pain and fatigue scores compared with the usual care group.
An investigation of the effects of therapeutic touch plan on acute chemotherapy-induced nausea in women with breast cancer in Isfahan, Iran, 2012-2013 (2015)
Source: MATOURYPOUR, P., ZARE, Z., MEHRZAD, V. et al. An investigation of the effects of therapeutic touch plan on acute chemotherapy-induced nausea in women with breast cancer in Isfahan. Journal of Education and Health Promotion [online]. Iran, 20122013. 2015; 4: 61. Published online 2015 Aug 6. doi: 10.4103/22779531.162380, PMCID: PMC4579769, Department of Adult Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran [cit. 2018-07-28]. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26430688
Published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Journal of Education and Health Promotion – www.jehp.net .
Detail: A quasi-experimental, single-blind, randomized control trial with three groups (control, placebo and intervention) was performed at the Isfahan Seyedolshohada (AS) Teaching Hospital, Isfahan, in 2012-2013. The intervention was therapeutic touch plan on women with breast cancer, with the three groups receiving the same medicine regimen. Information was recorded by a checklist after infusion of chemotherapy drugs. Data analysis was performed by SPSS, ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests. The ANOVA test showed that the therapeutic touch plan was significantly effective in reducing the duration of nausea compared with the control and placebo groups (P < 0.001). The Kruskal-Wallis test showed that the frequency of occurrence of nausea was also reduced in the intervention and placebo groups compared with the control group (P < 0.001). The therapeutic touch plan was significantly effective in delaying the onset of nausea compared with the control and placebo groups (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: This research showed that the therapeutic touch plan is effective in reducing acute chemotherapy-induced nausea; thus, education and implementation of the therapeutic touch plan is proposed for clinical nurses.
Evaluation of healing by gentle touch in 35 clients with cancer (2004)
Source: WEZE, C., LEATHARD, H.L., GRANGE, J. et al. Evaluation of healing by gentle touch in 35 clients with cancer. European Journal of Oncology Nursing [online]. 2004 Mar;8(1):40-9, School of Health, Medical Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Health & Social Care, St. Martin's College, Lancaster LA1 3JD, UK [cit. 2018-07-28]. Available from:
Published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal European Journal of Oncology Nursing – www.ejoncologynursing.com .
Detail: An uncontrolled, preliminary evaluation of healing by gentle touch in clients with cancer was carried out at The Centre for Complementary Care in Eskdale, Cumbria. All clients attending The Centre between 1995 and 2001 were invited to participate. Data were collected from 35 clients with cancer. Outcome measures included pre- to post-treatment changes in physical and psychological functioning. Assessments were made using a questionnaire with visual analogue scales for subjective rating of symptoms and the EuroQoL (EQ5D), a generic state of health measure.
Conclusion: Wilcoxon Signed Ranks tests showed statistically significant improvements in psychological and physical functioning, with positive effects on quality of life. The most pronounced improvements were seen in ratings for stress and relaxation, severe pain/discomfort, and depression/anxiety, particularly in those with the most severe symptoms on entry. The study found no adverse effects resulting from the treatment. These findings indicate that healing is a safe and effective adjunct to conventional medical treatment with the potential to ameliorate some of the more stressful aspects of cancer, including those inherent in current cancer treatment strategies. Rigorous evaluation of this modality by prospective, randomised, controlled trial is strongly warranted, as are investigations into its potential for use in palliative care.
The effect of therapeutic touch on behavioral symptoms of persons with dementia (2005)
Source: WOODS, D.L., CRAVEN, R.F., WHITNEY J. The effect of therapeutic touch on behavioral symptoms of persons with dementia. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine [online]. 2005 JanFeb;11(1):6674, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, USA [cit. 2018-07-28]. Available from:
Published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine – www.alternative-therapies.com .
Detail: Approximately 80% of nursing home residents who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and related dementia develop behavioral symptoms of dementia. Given the deleterious side effects of pharmacologic therapy in this population there is an urgent need for clinical trials of nonpharmacologic interventions. To examine the effect of therapeutic touch on the frequency and intensity of behavioral symptoms of dementia. A randomized, doubleblind, three-group experimental study: experimental (therapeutic touch), placebo (placebo therapeutic touch), and control (usual care). Fifty-seven residents, aged 67 to 93 years, exhibiting behavioral symptoms of dementia, were randomized to one of the three groups within each of three Special Care Units within three Long-Term Care facilities in a western Canadian province. Behavioral observation was completed every 20 minutes from 8:00AM to 6:00PM for three days pre-intervention and for three days post-intervention by trained observers who were blind to group assignment. The intervention consisted of therapeutic touch given twice daily for 5-7 minutes for three days between 10:00AM and 11:30PM and between 3:00PM and 4:30PM (N = 57). The main outcome variable was overall behavioral symptoms of dementia, consisting of six categories of behaviors: manual manipulation (restlessness), escape restraints, searching and wandering, tapping and banging, pacing and walking, and vocalization.
Conclusion: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) (F = 3.331, P = .033) and the Kruskal-Wallis test (chi2 = 6.661, P = .036) indicated a significant difference in overall behavioral symptoms of dementia, manual manipulation and vocalization when the experimental group was compared to the placebo and control groups. The experimental (significant) was more effective in decreasing behavioral symptoms of dementia than usual care, while the placebo group indicated a decreasing trend in behavioral symptoms of dementia compared to usual care. Therapeutic touch offers a nonpharmacological, clinically relevant modality that could be used to decrease behavioral symptoms of dementia, specifically manual manipulation (restlessness) and vocalization, two prevalent behaviors.
Therapeutic Touch Affects DNA Synthesis and Mineralization of Human Osteoblasts in Culture (2008)
Source: JHAVERI, A., WALSH, S. J., WANG, Y. et al. Therapeutic Touch Affects DNA Synthesis and Mineralization of Human Osteoblasts in Culture. Journal of Orthopaedic Research [online]. Received 1 August 2006; accepted 27 March 2008; Published online 3 June 2008 in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI 10.1002/jor.20688 [cit. 2018-07-28]. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18524012
Published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Journal of Orthopaedic Research.
Abstract: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques are commonly used in hospitals and private medical facilities; however, the effectiveness of many of these practices has not been thoroughly studied in a scientific manner. Developed by Dr. DoloresKrieger and Dora Kunz, Therapeutic Touch is one of these CAM practices and is a highly disciplined five-step process by which a practitioner can generate energy through their hands to promote healing.
There are numerous clinical studies on the effects of TT but few in vitro studies. Our purpose was to determine if Therapeutic Touch had any effect on osteoblast proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization in vitro. TT was performed twice a week for 10 min each on human osteoblasts (HOBs) and on an osteosarcoma-derived cell line, SaOs-2. No significant differences were found in DNA synthesis, assayed by [3H]-thymidine incorporation at 1 or 2 weeks for SaOs-2 or 1 week for HOBs. However, after four TT treatments in 2 weeks, TT significantly (p = 0.03) increased HOB DNA synthesis compared to controls.
Immunocytochemistry for Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) confirmed these data. At 2 weeks in differentiation medium, TT significantly increased mineralization in HOBs (p = 0.016) and decreased mineralization in SaOs-2 (p = 0.0007), compared to controls. Additionally, Northern blot analysis indicated a TT-induced increase inmRNAexpression for Type I collagen, bone sialoprotein, and alkaline phosphatase in HOBs and a decrease of these bone markers in SaOs-2 cells. In conclusion, Therapeutic Touch appears to increase human osteoblast DNA synthesis, differentiation and mineralization, and decrease differentiation and mineralization in a human osteosarcoma-derived cell line.