Investigating the effect of therapeutic touch on the intensity of acute chemotherapy-induced vomiting in breast cancer women under chemotherapy

Pegah Matourypour, Zohreh Vanaki, Zahra Zare, Valiolah Mehrzad, Mojtaba Dehghan, Mehdi Ranjbaran


Background: Nausea and vomiting are the worst and the most prevalent complications experienced by 70–80% of patients. Complementary treatments including therapeutic touch are cost‑effective and low‑risk, independent nursing interventions. Present research aims at investigating the effect of therapeutic touch on the intensity of acute chemotherapy‑induced vomiting in these patients.

Materials and Methods: As a single‑blind, randomized clinical trial, the present research was carried out on women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy in Isfahan, Iran. The subjects were divided into three groups of control, placebo, and intervention. The intervention was applied to each patient once for 20 min on the aura (human energy field) focusing on solar chakra. Data gathering instruments included demographic questionnaire and acute vomiting intensity scale.

Results: There was a significant difference among the three groups (and also after the intervention) (P < 0.0001). Paired comparisons among the groups using Mann–Whitney test showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the control group and the intervention group and between the control group and the placebo group (P < 0.0001). However, there was no significant difference between the placebo and intervention groups (P = 0.07).

Conclusions: Therapeutic touch was effective in reducing vomiting in the intervention group. However, the patients experienced lower‑intensity vomiting which may be because of presence of a therapist and probably the reduced anxiety related to an additional intervention. So, further research is recommended considering the placebo group and employing another person in addition to the therapist, who is not skilled for this technique.



Breast cancer; chemotherapy; nursing; therapeutic touch; vomiting

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