Monday, May 15, 2006

Touch therapy medical findings

Physiotherapists' use of touch in inpatient settings. Roger J, Darfour D, Dham A, Hickman O, Shaubach L, Shepard K, Physiother Res Int. 2002; 7(3): 170-86

Although touch is a basic element in the practice of physiotherapy, no research has been done to establish the type and purpose of practitioner touch in clinical settings. The purpose of the present study was to determine how physiotherapists use touch in inpatient acute and rehabilitation settings.
METHOD: Fifteen physiotherapists with three or more years' experience were videotaped treating two to three patients. The participant physiotherapists reviewed a videotape of themselves and described the types of touch used and their intent behind each touch. Cross-case analysis was used to determine common themes in the descriptions. Mutually exclusive categories of touch were then refined, based on the cases.
RESULTS: The most common types of touch used by physiotherapists included assistive touch, touch used to prepare the patient, touch to provide information, caring touch, touch to provide a therapeutic intervention, and touch used to perceive information. The physiotherapists also used 33 different combinations of touch, that is, a single touch used for more than one purpose.
CONCLUSIONS: Inpatient physiotherapists clearly perform in a 'high touch' arena. Clinical experience was reported as the strongest factor in developing the physiotherapists' sensitivity to patient needs and their skill in using specific types of touch. Further research is needed concerning the way patients perceive and respond to the presence or absence of these various forms of practitioner touch.

I refer to this article as a nice control study because it shows how a specific group of therapists use touch

Therapeutic holding: outcomes of a pilot study. Berrios CD, Jacobowitz WH J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 1998 Aug ; 36(8): 14-8

1.Although decreasing the use of seclusion and restraints in the management of aggressive children is a critical issue facing pediatric psychiatric inpatient programs, finding effective alternatives has been a difficult challenge.
2. Therapeutic holding appears to be as effective as seclusion and restraint with respect to managing aggressive behaviors in the psychiatrically disordered child.
3. Therapeutic holding has the potential to reduce the episodes of mechanical restraints and to be perceived by children as less punitive.

This is to me an interesting journal article that proposes 'therapeutic holding' (or hug) as a nice branch of alternative to seclusion

Integrating complementary therapies into community mental health practice: an exploration. Collinge W, Wentworth R, Sabo S J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Jun ; 11(3): 569-74

OBJECTIVES: To (1) describe the integration of massage and energy-based therapies with psychotherapy in a community mental health center, (2) to present qualitative feedback on the service, and (3) to present pilot data from a sample of long-term clients with persistent mental health concerns.
DESIGN: A noncontrolled pilot study was conducted using interview data before and self-report instruments after completing a brief program of complementary therapy accompanying ongoing psychotherapy.
SETTINGS/LOCATION: The program took place at a comprehensive community mental health center in southern Maine and in the private offices of massage therapists and energy healing practitioners who contracted with the program. SUBJECTS: Subjects were 20 women and 5 men, with mean age of 42 years and a mean history of 7.4 years of mental health treatment. All had histories that included trauma, 10 of which involved sexual abuse. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV Axis I diagnoses were PTSD (10), major depression (nine), anxiety disorder (three), and dual diagnosis (three).
INTERVENTIONS: Clients receiving ongoing psychotherapy were assigned to one modality of complementary therapy based on clinical judgment, availability of practitioners, and client interest. Modalities used were massage, acupuncture, Reiki, and Healing Touch. The mean number of sessions was five.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Clients completed an investigator-generated instrument with Likert-scaled ratings of satisfaction and perceived changes in four dimensions of trauma recovery: perceived interpersonal safety, interpersonal boundary setting, bodily sensation, and bodily shame.
RESULTS: Clients reported high levels of satisfaction with the service and significant levels of perceived (self-rated) change on each outcome measure. Qualitative results included enhanced psychotherapeutic outcomes reported by mental health clinicians.
CONCLUSIONS: The integration of complementary therapies into community mental health practice may hold promise of enhancing mental health outcomes and improving quality of life for long-term users of mental health services.

This paper is key as it concludes on findings on the efficiency of complementary therapies for mental health

In complementary therapies

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