Effect of therapeutic touch on the anxiety of 90 volunteer male and female subjects between the ages of 21 and 65, hospitalized in a cardiovascular unit of a large medical center in New York City, was examined. The dependent variable, state anxiety, was defined as a transitory emotional state of the individual at a particular point and was measured by the Self-Evaluation Questionnaire x-1, developed by Spielberger, Gorsuch, and Lushene. Subjects were administered this tool pre- and postintervention. Three matched intervention groups were formed; each subject received an individual five-minute period of intervention by therapeutic touch, casual touch, or no touch. Subjects who received intervention by therapeutic touch experienced a highly significant (p < .001) reduction in state anxiety, according to a comparison of pre–posttest means on A-state anxiety using a correlated t ratio. Subjects who received intervention by therapeutic touch had a significantly (p < .01) greater reduction in posttest anxiety scores than subjects who received intervention by casual touch or no touch.
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