Research studies have found that Therapeutic Touch®
• reduces anxiety,
• regulates and supports the immune function,
• alters the perception of pain and
• encourages general healing.
Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN, who, along with Dora Kunz, developed Therapeutic Touch did the earliest research in the modality. “Therapeutic Touch: The Imprimatur of Nursing” was published in 1975 in The American Journal of Nursing 75.5 (1975):784-787.
The research examined the effect of Therapeutic Touch on hemoglobin levels. A group of registered nurses were trained to offer Therapeutic Touch to patients as part of general nursing care. The control group received the nursing care without Therapeutic Touch. The hemoglobin levels of patients who received Therapeutic Touch changed.
Since then, a large body of research on outcomes of Therapeutic Touch has been accumulated. The Research Links page on this site offers a bibliography of the most recent Therapeutic Touch research with links leading either to the article itself, or, more often, to the abstract. From the abstracts, there are links to the instructions for purchasing the full-text article.
An Annotated Bibliography Published Therapeutic Touch™ Research 1975 to July, 2004, commissioned by The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario, includes forty-five studies. It was compiled by Theresa Moore RN, MScN and is available from the Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario (TTNO). Two meta-analyses of Therapeutic Touch, one conducted by P. Winsted Fry and J. Kijek, and the other by R. M. Peters, both published in 1999, are included in the Annotated Bibliography. These meta-analyses find that, in general, Therapeutic Touch has a medium effect on various conditions and illnesses when comparing those receiving Therapeutic Touch to those not receiving Therapeutic Touch, i.e. the control group.