Examples of Studies on Healers’ Effects on Clients

The following are from the web site: Healing Touch is a form of Hands-On Healing usually given to nurses. It is a shorter program than the CoreStar program which the healers in this project have completed. Both schools of healing are based on the work and teachings of Barbara Brennan, founder of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, and Rosalyn Bruyere, as well as other teachers from around the world.

The studies are included here because the two groups of healers would expect similar outcomes in similar cases.

The Effect of Healing Touch on Radiation-Induced Fatigue in Women Receiving Radiation Therapy in Women with Gynecological or Breast Cancer

Cynthia LovelandCook, PhD, MSW, RN, Joanne Guerrerio, RN, BSN, CHTP, and Vicki Slater, PhD, RN, CHIP

A randomized clinical trial was conducted with 62 women receiving radiation treatment for gynecological and breast cancer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Comparisons of scores before and after the six treatment sessions showed significant changes in improved quality of life and proportionately larger reductions in fatigue in the Healing Touch group than the control group. The Healing Touch group demonstrated more pronounced improvements in their levels of depression, anxiety and anger compared to the control group.

The Effect of Therapeutic Massage and Healing Touch on Cancer Patients

Janet Post-White, RN, PhD, FAAN, Mary Ellen Kinney, RN, BA, CHIP, Carol Wilcox, RN, MS, I.J. Lerner, MD, and J. Bernsten, RN, MS

The study measured the effects of therapeutic massage and Healing Touch on pain, nausea, fatigue and anxiety of 230 chemotherapy patients in comparison to caring presence alone or standard cancer treatment alone. There was a significant immediate (after individual treatment) and overall (at the end of the four visits) effect for both massage therapy and Healing Touch. Both Healing Touch and massage reduced B/P and heart rate and level of pain in comparison to presence. Healing Touch and massage reduced mood disturbance during the intervention periods, although there were no specific effects on anxiety-tension. Fatigue was less in the Healing Touch period. There were no significant immediate or overall effects on nausea with massage or Healing Touch. Participants rated both interventions highly regarding overall helpfulness and satisfaction.

A Patient Satisfaction Survey for Cancer Patients Experiencing Healing Touch at the Cancer Wellness Center

Judy Brannon, RN, BSN

Surveys were sent to 92 participants with 43 responses. Participantsresponses to Healing Touch treatments include the following (agree or strongly agree): improved relaxation, 98%; improved sense of control, 75%; positive change in energy, 87%; improved interpersonal relationships, 63%; improved sense of well-being, 92%; decreased pain, 85%; and decreased side effects of cancer treatments, 77%.

The Lived Experience of Healing Touch with Cancer Patients

Charlene Christiano, MSN, RN

A distinct pattern of interactions that were nonlinear and permeated throughout the session was found between the Healing Touch Practitioner and the cancer participants in this phenomenological study. The patterns indicated that there was caring (for each other), connecting (to each other and themselves), opening (trust, receptibility, intuition), co-creating, and being-one-with (sense of bonding, being as one with each other).

The Experience of Healing Touch in Women with Breast Cancer

Diane Kopecki, MS, RN, OCN, HTP

This study explored the experience of three women with breast cancer participating in a program that offered Healing Touch as a complementary therapy. Three essential themes representing the experience of Healing Touch in this study emerged as being Unity/Connectedness/Belonging; Inner Wellness; and Getting Me Through/Keeping Me Going. For women in this study, the essence of the Healing Touch experience was one of connection with others, leading to strengthened self. Through the primary experiences of human touch, caring and concern, and unity with others, a new state of enhanced physical, emotional and spiritual well-being was created. Study findings suggest that providing Healing Touch for enhancing quality of life is a useful modality for women with breast cancer at differing stages of the survivorship journey.

Therapeutic effects of Massage Therapy and Healing Touch on Caregivers of Patients Undergoing Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant

Stephanie Rexilius, MSN, RN, CMT, Carla Mundt, MA, MSN, RN, APRN, CHTP, Mary E. Megel, PhD, RN, CHIP, and Sangetta Agrawal, MS. S.J.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of massage therapy and Healing Touch on anxiety, depressions, subjective caregiver burden, and fatigue experienced by caregivers of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. A quasi-experimental repeated measures design was used with 26 caregivers. The caregivers in the control group received usual nursing care and a ten-minute supportive visit from one of the researchers and caregivers in the treatment groups received two 30-minute massages or Healing Touch treatments per week for three weeks. Anxiety and depression scores decreased for the Healing Touch group but did not achieve significance. Fatigue scores increased. In the post-study questionnaire most of the Healing Touch group found the treatments very relaxing and provided a time when they could focus on themselves and not worry about their family member.

The Lived Experience of Receiving the Chakra Connection of Women with Breast Cancer Who are Receiving Chemotherapy: A Phenomenological Study

Kathy Moreland, MScN, CHIP

The study explored the experience of receiving the chakra connection in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and compared these themes to those in the Therapeutic Touch literature. The six participants were asked to describe your experience of receiving the touch therapy. Share your thoughts, perceptions and feelings about the experience with as much detail as possible. The women received Healing Touch during intravenous chemotherapy. Overall, the experience was holistic and caring. It was reported to alter the participants perception of self, time and the environment thereby facilitating getting throughthe experience of the intravenous chemotherapy.

The Effect of Healing Touch and Other Forms of Energy Work on Cancer Pain

St. Clares Center for Complementary Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Oncology Complementary Medicine Pilot Program

Patricia Merritt, RN, HIP, CR1, and David Randall, RN, HIP

The pilot program was conducted during the period from June 15th through September 9t, 1998. The complementary therapies of meditation, Healing Touch, reflexology, reiki, cancer massage and acupuncture were administered to outpatients referred by their practitioner. Eighteen patients received 143 treatments. Treatments provided for Healing Touch and reflexology in the pain assessment data showed an average reduction in pain by 48%.


Healing for Elders and Institutions

Claudia Gehlhaart, RN, RCS, CHTP, LMT

This research project involved the use of Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch with elderly residing in a long-term care setting. The outcomes that were studied were the effects of Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch on pain, anxiety, pulse and respiration levels pre and post session. The treatment group had 19 subjects with an average age of 81.9 years. The control group included four subjects. All areas that were measured had statistically significant changes to the better. Post treatment pain results also showed a therapeutic effect. The participants reported a difference in their lives with unsolicited comments about how they enjoyed the treatment and one-on-one care.

The Effect of Healing Touch on Pain and Relaxation

Lori Protzman

This quality assurance project collected data using a 10-point rating scale on both in-patients and outpatients receiving Healing Touch treatments. Patients rated before their session and again after (unless asleep in the hospital following their session). Of 280 sessions, from data shared with JCAHO survey in 1999, pain scale levels dropped by four. No data was extracted on relaxation score, as many times patients were asleep.

Reducing Pain and Anxiety through Healing Touch

Barbara Welcher, RN, BS, CHTP, and John Kish, PhD, RN

This study was designed to evaluate the outcomes of a Healing Touch intervention with 138 inpatients. The patients were both male and female with a variety of diagnoses and ranging in age form 18 to 94 years old. After the Healing Touch treatment, the practitioner gave a questionnaire to the patients requesting that the patients retrospectively assess their level of pain and anxiety before the treatment and then assess their present level of pain and anxiety after the treatment using a scale of 1 to 10. Healing Touch significantly reduced both pain and anxiety in this study of hospitalized patients.

Perceived Effectiveness of Healing Touch Treatments: A Performance Improvement Study

Sr. Rita Jean DuBrey, CSJ, RN, MSN, CHTP/I

This performance improvement study was conducted over a seven-week period between February and April 1999. The convenience sample of 20 clients included individuals receiving Healing Touch treatments in a community-based practice. Each participant was asked to complete a survey utilizing four indicators: stress reduction, pain reduction (if applicable); emotional well-being, and spiritual well-being. All participants reported a decrease in stress following treatment. The levels of stress were reduced for greater than 2 weeks by 40% of the participants followed by 4-7 days for 30% of the participants. For those eight individuals who sought treatment for pain reduction experienced a reduction in pain either for 1-2 weeks (50%) or> 2 weeks (50%). Emotional well-being was reported to last for greater a minimum of a week for 50% of the sample. Spiritual well-being was reported by all but one of the subjects. The increase in spiritual well being lasted for> 2 weeks for the majority of subjects (60%).

A Quality Assurance Project on the Effectiveness of Healing Touch Treatments as Perceived by Patients at The Wellness Institute

Sr. Rita Jean DuBrey, CSJ, RN, MSN, CHTP/I

Individuals receiving Healing Touch treatment in community-based practice were surveyed in 1997. The sample included 25 responders. They were asked to rate pain reduction, stress reduction, emotional well being and how long the effects lasted. The results indicated that for stress the majority experienced decrease stress following treatment (92%). The lasting-effectiveness of the stress reduction was 1-3 days for most of the subjects (36 %). Pain reduction occurred in 94 %. Emotional well-being was reported as increasing following treatment for 88% with 40% reporting increased emotional well-being lasting over two weeks.