Abrupt termination of healing touch

This study was published in Complementary Health Practice Review.

Get ready.

First, the details.

  • 12 physically disabled, chronically ill nursing home patients received healing touch treatments over 3 to 4 months by a healing touch practitioner.
  • Treatment was unexpectedly terminated.

And, the huh… results.

  • 6 patients had negative experiences, including increased pain and impaired functional ability, sleep, and emotional status.
  • 6 patients continued to have positive experiences.

The bottom line?
The author thought the biggest issue to be addressed was the economic and ethical implications of discontinuing “beneficial” treatment without warning or replacement.

OK, but I suggest that the author discuss the rationale for the small treatment population, which was divided into 2 groups in the absence of a placebo or other comparison group.

The reviewers and journal editors should explain the rationale for publishing this poorly designed study in the first place.

7/29/07 18:46 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.