Anxiety and therapeutic touch

Issues Ment Health Nurs. Mar-Apr 1995;16(2):97-108. doi: 10.3109/01612849509006927.


This four-group, repeated-measures experimental design divided 40 healthy professional caregivers/students into high- and low-anxiety groups and further into "therapeutic touch" and comparison groups. The effectiveness of the use of therapeutic touch in reducing anxiety was evaluated, as were the methodologies used. Three self-report measures of anxiety (Profile of Mood States, Spielberger's State/Trait Anxiety Inventory, and visual analogue scales) were evaluated for equivalence and concurrent validity to determine their potential for use in future studies. The correlations among these instruments were highly significant. The small sample size prevented differences between groups from reaching statistical significance, but the reduction of anxiety in the high-anxiety group was greater for those who had received therapeutic touch than for those who did not. Using variability data, the sample size necessary to find statistically significant differences between those who had therapeutic touch and those who did not was determined.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / nursing*
  • Humans
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Touch*