Research: SMITH and colleagues, Uni

Listed in Issue 88


SMITH and colleagues, University of Southern Maine, USA, report on the effects of integrating therapeutic touch with a cognitive behavioural pain treatment programme.


The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the effect of offering Therapeutic Touch (TT) as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) to chronic pain patients.


: Patients were randomized to control group and experimental group, receiving relaxation training only or TT plus relaxation training, respectively. Both groups subsequently attended a CBT programme. Pre treatment and post treatment pain intensity, self-efficacy, unitary power, disability, and perceived distress were assessed. In addition, patterns of attrition were examined.


Patients who received TT fared better in terms of enhanced self-efficacy and unitary power. They also had lower attrition rates. Trends associated TT with less distress and lower disability.


This pilot study suggests that TT as an adjunct to CBT may help to improve clinical outcomes, reduce attrition, and promote unitary power in those who suffer with chronic pain.


Smith DW, Arnstein P, Rosa KC, Wells-Federman C. Effects of integrating therapeutic touch into a cognitive behavioural pain treatment program. Report of a pilot clinical trial. Journal of Holistic Nursing 20 (4): 367-387, Dec 2002.


The above studies demonstrate the efficacy of a number of approaches to pain control, including cognitive hehavioural therapy (CBT), biofeedback and therapeutic touch combined with CBT.

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