Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the feasibility of conducting a healing touch research trial.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the preliminary results from a trial on the effect of healing touch on fatigue.
Methods: A 2-group randomized clinical trial was used to test hypotheses related to the effect of healing touch versus sham healing touch (attention control) on fatigue and quality of life. Participants were blinded to the intervention received. Baseline data were collected on emotional state (anxiety and depression), fatigue and quality of life using validated instruments. Patients received a 60-minute session of healing touch or sham each week of RT (5-7 weeks). Fatigue was measured weekly, while quality of life was measured pre- and post-RT. Patient interviews were conducted at the end of the trial to determine the acceptability of the intervention and gather recommendations for improvement.
Results: Results for 35/40 patients are reported. Groups were comparable on demographic variables (mean age 51.6, SD=9.03, 86.7% Caucasian, 67.6 % employed full-time). The groups also were comparable for pre-RT anxiety and depression. Preliminary analysis suggest no significant differences between the two groups were found for fatigue. Interviews suggest weekly sessions are feasible and the patients found the sham intervention realistic as a therapy.
Conclusion: Conducting healing touch research in a clinical setting is feasible and acceptable for patients undergoing RT. The lack of difference in fatigue between the groups suggests the close physical presence of nurses delivering sham therapy may have a beneficial effect equal to healing touch.
See more of: Research Sessions – Oral Paper & Posters