The efficacy of therapeutic touch
Compared with the scarce evidence base of tactile touch, therapeutic touch, has been proven to be applicable recently in a variety of different populations and settings in recent years. Eight experimental researches and four qualitative researches are explored in this part.
TT is safe and effective to be implemented on hospitalized patients. Newshan & Schuller-Civitella (2003) conducted a large-scale study on 605 patients from 1998 to 2000. 48% of patients (n=259) claimed reduced pain suffering. 48% of patients (n=254) were found to have physiological response relating to relaxation; 90%(n=83) patients rated TT as either “very helpful” or “helpful”. 12% ...view middle of the document...
001) compared with the control group. A between-group intervention pilot study by Coakley & Duffy (2010) supported the biological effects from TT intervention. Postoperative stress was measured on 21 vascular surgical patients after postsurgical day1 until day7. After removing covariates, a significant drop (p=0.000) was shown in postoperative pain level, cortisol level and a significant higher natural killer cells (NKC) level in experimental group. Findings indicate that TT has an impact on biomarkers through reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Two studies have been conducted to prove TT efficacy in dementia care. Hawranik et al.(2008) employed a three-group RCT to examine TT effect on disruptive behaviors among older patients (N=51) with dementia. After being administrated TT for 5 consecutive days, the intervention group displayed a significant difference (p<0.5) in the reduced number of physically nonaggressive behaviors (the incidence of physically aggressive and verbally agitated behaviors were not significantly decreased). Their follow-up two weeks’ measurement suggested a sustained effect from TT. In line with this study, Woods et al.(2009) used a double-blind RCT to examine the effect of TT on the behavioral symptoms of dementia residents(N=57)with Alzheimer’s disease. After a three-day treatment, a significantly decreased trend of restlessness and vocalization (p=0.36 for Kruskal-Wallis test and p=0.33 for ANCOVA) was found in the experimental group compared with the two other groups.
A randomized two-group study by Busch et al.(2012) investigated the effects of therapeutic touch (TT) on burn patients’ index of anxiety, pain, salivary cortisol and pain medication. The anxiety of pain in TT-group was lower on day 10 but reduced morphine prescribed on day1 and 2 was not statistically significant. The higher cortisol level detected in TT group before changing dressing on day2, represented the higher anxiety level instead of pain as supposed by author.
The three-group quasi-experimental study by Zolfaghari et al.(2012) explored the effects of TT among women experiencing cardiac catheterization (N=69). The intervention group demonstrated a significantly decreased state of anxiety (p<0.0001), reduced the incidence of cardiac dysrhythmia (p<0.5), reduced vital signs including respiration rate (p<0.0001) compared with placebo and control group. Further research is needed for delayed TT effects on trait anxiety and the mechanism of TT regulating vital signs through autonomic nervous systems.
Among identified qualitative studies, the common topic is that TT is a mutually beneficial practice, which in line with the viewpoint from Leder & Krucoff (2008), which declared that the reciprocal feature of touch. Hallett (2004) uncovered that...