Research Studies and Scientific Articles on Healing Touch

Additional Information


Healing Touch Augments Radiation Therapy
Authors: Cynthia A. Loveland Cook, Ph.D., R.N.; Joanne F. Guerrerio, R.N.; and Victoria E. Slater, Ph.D., R.N. Originally published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2004, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 34-40.
Note: This research is considered one of the best medthodlogically completed to date.
Study Sponsor :Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and the School of Social Service, St. Louis University, in St. Louis, Missouri
Study Completion Date: 2004

Healing Touch and Immunity in Advanced Cervical Cancer Patients
Principal Investigator: Susan Lutgendorf, PhD, University of Iowa
Study Completion Date: April 2007
Information Provided by: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

The Effect of Therapeutic Massage and Healing Touch on Cancer Patients.
Principal Investigator: Janice Post-White, RN, PhD,FAAN
Co-Investigators: Mary Ellen Kinney, RN, BA, CHTP, Carol Wilcox, RN, MS, I.J. Lerner, MD, and J. Bernsten, RN, MS
Date: December 2003

The Lived Experience of Healing Touch with Cancer Patients
Principal Investigator: Charlene Ann Christiano, Florida International University
Date: 1997

Effects of biofield vs. mock healing for fatigue, cytokines, and cortisol variability in breast cancer survivors: a randomized, controlled trial (dissertation)
Author: S. Jain
Date: 2009

The Impact of Healing Touch on Pediatric Oncology Patients

Energy Therapies in Oncology Nursing

Healing Touch and Health-Related Quality of Life in Women With Breast Cancer Receiving Radiation Therapy
Principal Investigator: Lisa L Schnepper, MSN, PhD (c), University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Start Date: January 2008
Study Sponsor: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Healing Touch in Treating Fatigue in Women Undergoing Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
Principal Investigator: Nancy Wells, DNSc, RN and Fern Fitzhenry, PhD, RN Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Start Date: February 2007
Study Sponsor: Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer and Fallopian Tube Cancer Patients Using Complementary Alternative Medicine
Start Date: 2006
Study Sponsor:  University of Minnesota

Healing Touch with guided imagery for PTSD in returning active duty military: A randomized controlled trial.

Military Medicine, 177 (9), 1015-1021, T Jain, S., McMahon, G.F. , Hasen, P., Kozub, M.P., Porter, V., King, R. & Guarneri, E.M. (2012).
A recent study published in Military Medicine compared the impact of Healing Touch and Guided Imagery plus treatment as usual in the study group (HT+GI + TAU) to treatment as usual only (TAU) in the control group on PTSD symptoms, depression, quality of life and hostility in active duty military personnel. The group of 123 participants were randomly assigned to receive either 6 sessions of HT+GI+ TAU over 3 weeks vs. TAU over 3 weeks. 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.
This well conducted study supports the use of HT in the care of military personnel with PTSD.

Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis
Shamini Jain, Paul J. Mills

The Effect of Healing Touch on the Pain and Mobility of Persons with Osteoarthritis: A feasibility study
Published by: Geriatric Nursing
Published Date: July 2013

A Pilot Study of Healing Touch and Progressive Relaxation for Chronic Neuropathic Pain in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury
Authors: D. Wardell, D.H. Rintala, Z. Duan and G. Tan

Preservation of immune function in cervical cancer patients during chemoradiation using a novel integrative approach. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 24 (8), 1231-1240.
Quantitative Study
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).
This prospective randomized trial conducted at the University of IOWA explored the impact of Healing Touch therapy on cellular immunity (measured by natural killer cell function), mood, quality of life and treatment toxicities/delays. Sixty women with cervical cancer were randomly assigned to one of three groups in this prospective trial: Healing Touch (HT), relaxation training (RT) and usual care (UC). The HT and RT group received four weekly individual sessions of their respective therapies immediately following their radiation during their six weeks of chemo-radiation. Assessments were conducted at baseline, week 4 and 6. The group receiving HT 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). Natural killer cell function is a predictor of survival, so this is a good thing! HT patients also showed significant decreases in two indicators of depressed mood compared to the RT and UC group over time as well. There were no significant observations on toxicities, treatment delay, quality of life and fatigue.

Emerging from depression: The experiential process of Healing Touch explored through grounded theory and case study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 16, 132-137.

Qualitative Study
Van Aken, R. & Taylor, B. (2010)
This study aimed to explore and analyze the process of receiving Healing Touch  for people with depression using a grounded theory and case study approach. The grounded theory analysis uncovered 3 things: 1) the basic psychosocial problem 2) the stages of the process of emergence from depression and 3) the strategies used within that process. From this analysis a middle range theory was developed that described the process for people with depression receiving Healing Touch in four stages: 1) belief in practitioner, self and future self, 2) integrating all aspects of self, 3) accessing inner strength and resources and 4) engaging with life.

The clinical effectiveness of Healing Touch. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 8(1), 33-47.

Mixed Method Study
Wilkinson, D.S., Knox, P.L., Chatman, J.E., Johnson, T.L. et al. (2002).
The researchers in this mixed methods design wanted to explore whether Healing Touch enhanced health. To determine enhanced health, they recorded salivary secreted immunoglobulin A (sIgA), a protein in the body thought to be related to health enhancement before and after treatment, self report levels of stress, perceptions of health enhancement and administered qualitative questionnaires. Their sample consisted of 22 clients who had never experienced Healing Touch. All of the participants experienced 3 types of conditions: no treatment, Healing Touch alone, and Healing Touch plus music and guided imagery over a period of two weeks. Statistically significant results and the review of the qualitative data support that Healing Touch enhances health through raising sIgA concentrations, lowering perceptions of stress and relieving pain. The researchers suggest that the result is not the result of placebo alone.

More studies listed on Healing Touch research site: