BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Components of complementary and alternative medicine are increasingly being implemented at academic medical centers. These approaches include therapeutic touch or healing touch (HT), an energy-based therapy using light touch on or near the body. Limited data exist regarding complementary and alternative medicine use at children’s hospitals. The aim of this study was to evaluate patterns and clinical characteristics of HT consultations among children hospitalized at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients hospitalized from January 2012 through December 2013, comparing patients who received HT consultations with those who did not.
RESULTS: There were 25 396 admissions during the study period; 882 (4%) of these, representing 593 individual patients, received an HT consultation. As compared with those without an HT consultation, patients receiving HT were older (median 12 years vs 5 years, P < .001), female (58% vs 46%, P < .001), and more likely to be admitted to the hematology/oncology or blood/bone marrow transplant units (P < .001). Patients with HT consultations had longer hospitalizations (median 121 hours vs 38 hours, P < .001) and more medical problems (median 12 vs 4, P < .001). Six attending physicians were responsible for placing the majority of HT consultations. Of the 593 patients receiving an HT consultation, 21% received ≥2 consultations during the study period.
CONCLUSIONS: Certain patients, such as those with longer hospitalizations and more medical problems, were more likely to receive HT consultations. Many patients received multiple consultations, suggesting that HT may be an important aspect of ongoing care for hospitalized children.
- Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics