A Pilot Study: The Effect of Healing Touch on Anxiety, Stress, Pain, Pain Medication Usage, and Physiological Measures in Hospitalized Sickle Cell Disease Adults Experiencing a Vaso-occlusive Pain Episode


Journal of Holistic Nursing




PURPOSE: This pilot study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of Healing Touch on anxiety, stress, pain, pain medication usage, and selected physiological measures of hospitalized adults with sickle cell disease experiencing a vaso-occlusive pain episode.DESIGN: Healing Touch sessions were administered for 30 minutes on four consecutive days, and the self-reported data on anxiety, stress, pain, and the selected physiological data were collected while controlling for music and presence.METHOD: A parallel-group randomized control trial comparing the effects of Healing Touch with Music (HTM) to Attention Control with Music (ACM).FINDINGS: Due to the small sample size, there were no statistically significant changes in any between-group comparisons, except for present pain on Day 4 for the ACM group. For both groups, the within-group comparison showed a nonsignificant reduction in physiological parameters, a statistically significant reduction in anxiety and stress for the ACM group after Day 4, and a statistically significant reduction in stress in the HTM group after Days 2 and 4. The pre- to postintervention reductions in present pain were greater in the HTM group across all 4 days, but the only statistically significant within groups findings were in the HTM group (p < .01) on Day 1.CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Acute Pain; Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Medication Use; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Sickle Cell Disease; Stress

Indexed Terms

Opioid Analgesics; Anemia, Sickle Cell; Anemia, Sickle Cell; Anxiety; Combined Modality Therapy; Pain Measurement; Pilot Projects; Severity of Illness Index; Stress; Therapeutic Touch; Therapeutic Touch; Anemia, Sickle Cell; Anxiety; Holistic Nursing; Stress

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type