In 1972 Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz developed Therapeutic Touch as a healing modality for use by health professionals. Proponents of the intervention claim that its efficacy is well supported by a substantive amount of rigorously controlled and methodologically sound research. The evidence for the effectiveness of Therapeutic Touch was examined using a prototype research design for integrative review and meta-analysis. A total of forty-one studies were examined, of which 15 (37%) were included in an integrative review, and seven (17%) in a meta-analysis. The effect sizes of the studies combined to return a large positive treatment effect. The fail-safe n of 29.79 associated with the result was inadequate, and consequently the findings of the meta-analysis will be easily overturned by the results of future studies. The findings of the review did not provide support for the claims of the proponents of the intervention. The limited amount of research and the quality of that research is insufficient to establish the efficacy of the practice.
Stephen Colgan has a Bachelors degree in Nursing (Hons) and is currently working as a health economist, for Deakin Health Economics, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia.