Peck SD. The efficacy of therapeutic touch for improving functional ability in elders with degenerative arthritis. Nursing Science Quarterly. 11(3): 123-32, 1998.
Therapeutic touch (TI) was compared to routine treatment and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) in 82 elders with arthritis. They received six treatments at one-week intervals. Pain, tension, mood and satisfaction improved after both TT and progressive muscle relaxation. Hand function improved after TT while walking and bending improved after PMR.
Cancer palliative care
Giasson M, Bouchard L. Effect of Therapeutic Touch on the well-being of persons with terminal cancer. Journal of Holistic Nursing. 16(3): 383-98, 1998.
Ten patients with terminal cancer received three therapeutic touch (TT) treatments while ten cancer patients in the control group participated in three rest periods. Well-being was measured pre-and post-intervention using a scale that measured pain, nausea, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, activity, appetite, relaxation and inner peace. The results of the study indicated that TT treatments increased the sensation of well-being in persons with terminal cancer.
Hagemaster J. Use of therapeutic touch in treatment of drug addictions. Holistic Nursing Practice. 14(3): 14-20, 2000.
This pilot study was undertaken to examine the efficacy of therapeutic touch (TT) in the treatment of people with alcohol or drug abuse. The study included three groups of alcohol and drug abusers over five months. Group 1 received TT, group 2 received Mimic TT and group 3 received no intervention. Preliminary findings indicate that the use of TT may be effective in prolonging periods of abstinence.
Pain and anxiety in the elderly
Lin Y, Taylor AG. Effects of therapeutic touch in reducing pain and anxiety in an elderly population. Integrative Medicine. 1(4):155-62, 1998.
This study investigated the effectiveness of therapeutic touch (TT) in reducing chronic musculoskeletal pain and anxiety in an elderly population. Ninety-five participants were divided into three groups: those receiving TT, mimic touch (a placebo) and standard care. Participants in the TT group received a 20-minute TT session given at the same time on 3 consecutive days. Pain reduction and anxiety in the TT group was significantly reduced when compared with control groups as measured by self-reported rating scales. Salivary cortisol levels,however, showed little change.
Stress and anxiety
Lafreniere KD, Mutus B, Cameron S, et al. Effects of therapeutic touch on biochemical and mood indicators in women. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 5(4): 367-70, 1999.
Forty one healthy female volunteers were randomly assigned to an experimental group that received therapeutic touch (TT) or a control group that did not over three consecutive monthly sessions. Results indicated significant reductions in tension, confusion and anxiety in the group that received TT and a significant increase in vigor across sessions as measured by pretest and posttest urine samples and personality and mood inventories.
Use in Critical Care
Cox C, Hayes J. Physiologic and psychodynamic responses to the administration of therapeutic touch in critical care. Intensive & Critical Care Nursing. 15(6): 363-8, 1999.
The project involved the use of a time series design in which physiologic and psychological responses were measured pre-, during and post-therapeutic touch sessions. No changes were noted in physiologic variables but significant correlations were found in terms of relaxation and sleep. This can be important in the critical care setting to assist patients ability to relax and sleep in a stressful environment.