Effect of Therapeutic Touch in Patients with Cancer: a Literature Review

Med Arch. 2016 Apr;70(2):142-7. doi: 10.5455/medarh.2016.70.142-147. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Abstract

Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques has been growing. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine places therapeutic touch (TT) into the category of bio field energy. This literature review is aimed at critically evaluating the data from clinical trials examining the clinical efficacy of therapeutic touch as a supportive care modality in adult patients with cancer.

Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Scholar Google, and Science Direct) were searched from the year 1990 to 2015 to locate potentially relevant peer-reviewed articles using the key words therapeutic touch, touch therapy, neoplasm, cancer, and CAM. Additionally, relevant journals and references of all the located articles were manually searched for other potentially relevant studies.

Results: The number of 334 articles was found on the basis of the key words, of which 17 articles related to the clinical trial were examined in accordance with the objectives of the study. A total of 6 articles were in the final dataset in which several examples of the positive effects of healing touch on pain, nausea, anxiety and fatigue, and life quality and also on biochemical parameters were observed.

Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, an affirmation can be made regarding the use of TT, as a non-invasive intervention for improving the health status in patients with cancer. Moreover, therapeutic touch was proved to be a useful strategy for adult patients with cancer.

Keywords: cancer; literature review; therapeutic touch; touch therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Pain / etiology*
  • Cancer Pain / psychology
  • Cancer Pain / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Therapeutic Touch*