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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 3, Pages 375-381
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nen006
Original Article

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

1Department of Nursing, Medical Sciences Faculty, Tarbiat Modares University, Gisha Bridge, P.O. Box: 14115-331, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Nursing, Shahid Beheshti Medical Sciences University, Tehran, Iran

Received 19 November 2006; Accepted 12 September 2007

Copyright © 2010 Nahid Aghabati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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.