The research-related literature on the topic of therapeutic touch is critically reviewed. The purpose of the review is to explore the current scientific basis for the teaching and practice of therapeutic touch as a treatment modality. An examination of published research literature indicates that empirical support for the practice of therapeutic touch is, at best, weak. The results of well-designed, double-blind studies have been transient, of no significance, or are in need of independent replication. Current practice of therapeutic touch is empirically little more than practice of placebo. Considerations for further nursing research are also presented.
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