Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2004 Mar;8(1):40-9.

Evaluation of healing by gentle touch in 35 clients with cancer.

Author information

School of Health, Medical Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Health & Social Care, St. Martin's College, Lancaster LA1 3JD, UK.


An uncontrolled, preliminary evaluation of healing by gentle touch in clients with cancer was carried out at The Centre for Complementary Care in Eskdale, Cumbria. All clients attending The Centre between 1995 and 2001 were invited to participate. Data were collected from 35 clients with cancer. Outcome measures included pre- to post-treatment changes in physical and psychological functioning. Assessments were made using a questionnaire with visual analogue scales for subjective rating of symptoms and the EuroQoL (EQ-5D), a generic state of health measure. Wilcoxon Signed Ranks tests showed statistically significant improvements in psychological and physical functioning, with positive effects on quality of life. The most pronounced improvements were seen in ratings for stress and relaxation, severe pain/discomfort, and depression/anxiety, particularly in those with the most severe symptoms on entry. The study found no adverse effects resulting from the treatment. These findings indicate that healing is a safe and effective adjunct to conventional medical treatment with the potential to ameliorate some of the more stressful aspects of cancer, including those inherent in current cancer treatment strategies. Rigorous evaluation of this modality by prospective, randomised, controlled trial is strongly warranted, as are investigations into its potential for use in palliative care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center