Effects of therapeutic touch on anxiety in patients with cancer

Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine

Volume 5 - Number Suppl.1

Article Type: Original Article
Abstract: Objectives: Use of complementary and alternative medicine techniques is following a rising trend. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine categorizes therapeutic touch (TT) as a biofield energy therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of TT on anxiety in patients with cancer. Materials and Methods: The present clinical trial was conducted in 2015. Sixty male participants with cancer were randomly assigned into three groups: intervention group (n=20, 10-15 min of TT in seven sessions), placebo group (n=20, 10- 15 min of simulated touch in seven sessions) and control group (n=20, routine therapy). The study tools included a demographic questionnaire and Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, used to evaluate anxiety before and after four and seven sessions of intervention. For data analysis, descriptive statistics, ANOVA and Tukey’s test were applied, using SPSS version 18. Results: Data analysis showed a significant difference in anxiety scores before and after the intervention in the three groups (p<0.001). The mean anxiety was not significantly different between the three groups before the intervention (F=3.720, p=0.491). However, there was a significant difference in mean anxiety between the groups after the fourth (F=3.64, p=0.033) and seventh sessions (F=33.35, p=0.000). According to Tukey’s test, the intervention group was significantly different from the placebo and control groups (p<0.001). Conclusion: Based on the current findings, TT was shown to be a non-invasive intervention for improving anxiety in patients with cancer.