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Healing Touch Research - ICP

Based on nursing standards, Healing Touch is an ideal complement to traditional medical care. It is evidence-based with research studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health, hospitals and universities. Quantitative and qualitative research, pilot studies and anecdotal observations support and validate the use of Healing Touch in the healthcare setting.

Healing Touch has been shown to:
  • Decrease pain, anxiety and nausea
  • Improve symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Improve patient and nursing satisfaction, thus providing cost savings

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The following key research supports the use of Healing Touch.
  1. Healing Touch with guided imagery for PTSD in returning active duty military: A randomized controlled trial, Military Medicine, 177 (9), 1015-1021, Jain, S., McMahon, G.F., Hasen, P., Kozub, M.P., Porter, V., King, R. & Guarneri, E.M. (2012).
    Findings: Statistical analyses (repeated measures analysis of covariance with intent-to-treat) revealed statistically and clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms (p < 0.0005, Cohen’s d = 0.85) as well as depression (p < 0.0005, Cohen’s d = 0.70) for the group receiving HT+GI vs. TAU. This same group also showed significant improvements in mental quality of life (p = 0.002, Cohen’s d = 0.58) and reduced cynicism (p = 0.001, Cohen’s d =0.49) vs. TAU group.

  2. Preservation of immune function in cervical cancer patients during chemoradiation using a novel integrative approach, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 24 (8), 1231- 1240, Lutgendorf, S.K., Mullen-Houser, E., Russell, D., DeGeest, K., Jacobson, G., Hart, L., Bender, D., Anderson, B., Buekers, T.E., Goodheart, M.J., Antoni, M.H., Sood, A.K. & Lubaroff, D.M. (2010).
    Findings: HT group had a minimal decrease in natural killer cell cytotoxicity (NKCC) over time compared to the NKCC of the RT and UC patients who declined sharply during their treatment (p = 0.018); HT patients also showed significant decreases in two indicators of depressed mood compared to the RT and UC groups over time as well; there were no significant observations on toxicities, treatment delay, quality of life and fatigue.

  3. The efficacy of Healing Touch in coronary artery bypass surgery recovery: a randomized clinical trial, Alternative Therapies, 14(4), 24-32, MacIntyre, B., Hamilton, J., Fricke, T., Ma, W., Mehle, S., & Michel, H. (2008).
    Findings: No significant decrease in use of pain medication, anti-nausea meds or incidence of atrial fib; significant differences in anxiety scores and length of stay in the HT group compared to the other 2 groups; estimated cost savings of $500,000/ year; demonstrated a decreased length of stay of one full day for patients that received HT versus those that did not.

  4. Therapeutic Massage and Healing Touch Improve Symptoms in Cancer, Integrative Cancer Therapies, 2(3), 332-344, Post-White, J. & Kinney, M.E., Savik, K., Berntsen Gau, J., Wilcox, C. & Lerner, I. (2003).
    Findings: MT and HT lowered blood pressure, respiratory rate (RR), and heart rate (HR); MT lowered anxiety and HT lowered fatigue, and both lowered total mood disturbance; pain ratings were lower after MT and HT, with 4-week nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use less during MT; there were no effects on nausea; presence reduced RR and HR but did not differ from standard care on any measure of pain, nausea, mood states, anxiety, or fatigue; MT and HT are more effective than presence alone or standard care in reducing pain, mood disturbance, and fatigue in patients receiving cancer care/treatment.

  5. Healing Touch and Quality of Life in Women Receiving Radiation Treatment for Cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10(3), 34-41, Cook, C.A., Guerrerio, J.F., & Slater, V.E. (2004).
    Findings: Those receiving HT reported improvement in all 9 areas of quality of life measured with statistical significance in the area of vitality, pain and physical func¬tion (compared to those that received mock therapy).

  6. Improving the Well-Being of Nursing Leaders Through Healing Touch Training, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16 (8), 1-5 Tang, R., Tegeler, C., Larrimore, D., Cowgill, S. & Kemper, K.J. (2010).
    Findings: Significant improvement (p < 0.5) in self-reported stress, depression, anxiety, relaxation, well-being, and sleep; Significant heart rate variability changes suggesting improved autonomic function consistent with greater well-being; “Training nurse leaders in academic health centers in Healing Touch is associated with significant improvements in subjective and objective measures of stress.”
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