Healing Touch: A Strategy for Acute Care Nurses' Stress Reduction

Author: Randy L Rosamond1, Gloria Giarratano2, Susan Orlando2, Jane Sumner2, Diedre Devier2, Lee S McDaniel2, Diane Wind Wardell3
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Nurse Educator University Medical Center, LA, USA. <sup>2</sup> Louisiana State University Health NOLA School of Nursing, LA, USA. <sup>3</sup> Cizik School of Nursing, UT Health, TX, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Holist Nurs
Date published: 2023 Jan 30
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/08980101221142193. , Word Count: 175

The purpose of the study is to determine whether administering healing touch (HT) is more effective than deep breathing (DB) for reducing acute care nurses' stress during a shift. A randomized cluster trial assessed 150 nurses' vital signs and Visual Analog Scale for Stress (VASS) levels pre, post, and at follow-up to achieve a power of .7 and medium affect size. Open-ended questions following the intervention enriched quantitative findings describing the experience, facilitators, and barriers to potential use in nursing. The generalized estimating equation 1 (GEE1) comparisons of mean change over time, found that nurses in the HT intervention, had significantly lower VASS stress scores at posttreatment (-0.95, p = .0002) and at follow-up (-0.73, p = .0144) than the DB group, and the respiratory rate (RR) rate differences were nearly significant at post-intervention and significant at follow-up, respectively (1.36, p = .0568 and -2.28, p = .0011), indicating lower RR after HT. These findings support the use of HT as an effective stress reduction strategy as a relevant strategy to sustain a viable nurse work force post-COVID-19.

Keywords: biofield energy; healing touch; nurse stress.

PMID: 36714962 DOI: 10.1177/08980101221142193