Therapeutic Touch for Cancer Pain and Fatigue

Published: September 22, 2012
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eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nen006

The Effect of Therapeutic Touch on Pain and Fatigue of Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy

Nahid Aghabati,1 Eesa Mohammadi1 and Zahra Pour Esmaiel2

1Department of Nursing, Tarbiat Modares University and 2Department of Nursing, Shahid Beheshti Medical Sciences University, Tehran, Iran

Despite major advances in pain management, cancer pain is managed poorly in 80% of the patients with cancer. Due to deleterious side effects of pharmacology therapy in these people, there is an urgent need for clinical trials of non-pharmacological interventions. To examine the effect of therapeutic touch (TT) on the pain and fatigue of the cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, a randomized and three-groups experimental study—experimental (TT), placebo (placebo TT), and control (usual care)—was carried out. Ninety patients undergoing chemotherapy, exhibiting pain and fatigue of cancer, were randomized into one of the three groups in the Cancer Center of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, Iran. Pain and fatigue were measured and recorded by participants before and after the intervention for 5 days (once a day). The intervention consisted of 30 min TT given once a day for 5 days between 10:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of pain and the Rhoten Fatigue Scale (RFS) were completed for 5 days before and after the intervention by the subjects. The TT (significant) was more effective in decreasing pain and fatigue of the cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy than the usual care group, while the placebo group indicated a decreasing trend in pain and fatigue scores compared with the usual care group.

E-mail: mohamade@modares.ac.ir ; emohamadus@yahoo.com

Received November 19, 2006; accepted September 12, 2007

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Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome From Fatigued to Fantastic! and his newer The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution.  Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health. 

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