A nurse-statistician reanalyzes data from the Rosa therapeutic touch study

Author: Cox T
Affiliation: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, Richmond, USA
Conference/Journal: Altern Ther Health Med
Date published: 2003
Other: Volume ID: 9 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 58-64 , Word Count: 145

This article presents a reanalysis of data used to support the work of Emily Rosa's Therapeutic Touch (TT) science fair project published as an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1998. The purpose of this article is to take a closer look at the assumptions, data, statistical procedures, and conclusions of the JAMA article. This is accomplished by focusing on (1) the conclusion that there was no overall effect of TT, (2) the conclusion that TT practitioners did not perform better depending on which hand was used, and (3) the assumptions about the capability of Rosa's experiment to validate an existing skill. Reanalysis of the Rosa data suggests contradictions to the authors' conclusions. Based on this reanalysis, the authors' recommendations against the use of TT can and should be challenged because of inappropriate design and analysis as well as incorrect statistical assumptions and conclusions.