Full title: The implementation and evaluation of therapeutic touch in burn patients: An instructive experience of conducting a scientific study within a non-academic nursing setting.
Evaluation of therapeutic touch (TT) in the nursing of burn patients; post hoc evaluation of the research process in a non-academic nursing setting. 38 burn patients received either TT or nursing presence. On admission, days 2, 5 and 10 of hospitalization, data were collected on anxiety for pain, salivary cortisol, and pain medication. Interviews with nurses were held concerning research in a non-academic setting. Anxiety for pain was more reduced on day 10 in the TT-group. The TT-group was prescribed less morphine on day 1 and 2. On day 2 cortisol level before dressing changes was higher in the TT-group. The situational challenges of this study led to inconsistencies in data collection and a high patient attrition rate, weakening its statistical power. Conducting an effect study within daily nursing practice should not be done with a nursing staff inexperienced in research. Analysis of the remaining data justifies further research on TT for burn patients with pain, anxiety for pain, and cortisol levels as outcomes. Administering and evaluating TT during daily care requires nurses experienced both in TT and research, thus leading to less attrition and missing data, increasing the power of future studies.
Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Sep 17. pii: S0738-3991(12)00340-0. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.08.012. Busch M, Visser A, Eybrechts M, van Komen R, Oen I, Olff M, Dokter J, Boxma H. Van Praag Instituut, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: email@example.com.