[Assessment strategies of the impact of healing touch in nursing care].Rech Soins Infirm 2009; (97):85-91RS
New care methods have emerged in the last few years. Healing Touch is relaxing and as such, helps prepare the patient for the medical act, the pain of which he may often feel anxious about As they foster confidence between the patient and the medical practitioner, such practices create better conditions for the medical care act to be performed. Even if there is no doubt about its impact on the patient, the effect of Healing Touch has never been scientifically assessed, and the only available references are rather scarce. This is the reason why we wished to assess the impact of this care in a number of clinical situations through a randomised clinical experiment. The object of this paper is to assert the efficacy of such care on the patient, especially on pain relief and the decrease of anxiety. To this end, authenticated assessment scales were used, such as the visual analog pain scale or Spielberg's test anxiety inventory. A prospective multicentre randomised study was carried out to create a control group to be compared to the group treated with Healing Touch. Only willing patients who were prescribed healing touch were included in the experiment. Patients with cognitive problems - be they temporary (linked to a temporary clinical conditions) or not - or those suffering from some disabilities preventing them from using assessment scales and questionnaires are excluded. The recruitment of a 784-patient panel was needed to set out the 8 situations in which a Healing Touch indication may be effective.