Use in Children
Ireland M, Olson M. Massage therapy and therapeutic touch in children: state of the science. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine. 6(5): 54-63, 2000.
Five therapeutic touch studies, 3 quantitative and 2 qualitative, and 14 massage therapy studies were selected. While a set of common findings across two decades of study suggest that massage therapy may be useful in the care of infants and children, there is insufficient evidence to date for TT. However, because massage therapy and therapeutic touch seem to elicit similar parasympathetic effects, TT may be useful as well. At this point in time, however, there is insufficient evidence to recommend its use in children.
Meehan TC. Therapeutic touch as a nursing intervention. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 28(1): 117-25, 1998.
Review of controlled studies indicates limited and inconclusive scientific support for the proposed effects of therapeutic touch. Anecdotal reports and descriptive studies in the nursing literature, however, have described its use in reducing stress and promoting relaxation, comfort and well-being. Further controlled studies are necessary, particularly in order to differentiate between the effects of therapeutic touch and the placebo effect.
Spence JE, Olson MA. Quantitative research on therapeutic touch. An integrative review of the literature 1985-1995. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. 11(3): 183-90, 1997.
Review of the quantitative research on therapeutic touch (TT) from 1985 to 1995 concluded that there is evidence to support the practice of TT for the reduction of pain or anxiety. Recommendations for future research are presented.
Winstead-Fry P, Kijek J. An integrative review and meta-analysis of therapeutic touch research. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine. 5(6): 58-67, 1999.
Thirty eight research articles were included in this review. Results indicated that most of the studies supported hypotheses regarding the effectiveness of therapeutic touch, though a number had mixed or negative results. A meta-analysis was performed on 13 studies and showed a moderate average effect size.