Therapeutic touch for healing acute wounds

Author: O'Mathuna DP//Ashford RL
Conference/Journal: Cochrane Database Syst Rev
Date published: 2003
Other: Volume ID: 4 , Pages: CD002766 , Word Count: 291

BACKGROUND: Therapeutic Touch (TT) as a treatment modality has increased in popularity over the past two decades. Its efficacy in relation to the healing of wounds has been expounded in anecdotal publications. To date however there has been no systematic review. OBJECTIVES: To identify and review all relevant data to determine the effectiveness of TT in the promotion of wound healing. SEARCH STRATEGY: The Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Trials Register and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched in May 2003. The Cochrane Complementary Medicine field database was searched in September 2002. In addition the Sigma Theta Tau International Registry of Nursing Research (1983 to 2002) was also searched in September 2002. Furthermore searches of MEDLINE (1966 to 2003) were conducted in 1997 and May 2003, CINAHL (1982 to 2002) in September 2002 and dissertation abstracts in September 2002. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials, which compared the effect of TT with a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment control were considered. Studies which used TT as a stand-alone treatment, or as an adjunct to other therapies, were eligible. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: One reviewer (DO) determined the eligibility for inclusion of all trials. Both reviewers conducted data extraction and evaluation of each trial's quality independently. Each trial was analysed based on predetermined criteria and a narrative of each trial's main conclusions was produced. MAIN RESULTS: Four trials in people with experimental wounds were eligible for inclusion. The effect of TT on wound healing in these studies was variable. Two of the studies (n = 44 & 24) demonstrated a significant effect of TT. However the results of the two other trials favoured the control group (n = 15 & 38), one of these trials demonstrated a significant effect in favour of the control group. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence that TT promotes healing of acute wounds.