The clinical effectiveness of healing touch on HIV -infected individuals: A pilot study

Dawn Schluckebier Wilkinson, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This exploratory study investigated the clinical effectiveness of Healing Touch (HT) on HIV-infected individuals for increasing secretory Immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in saliva and quality of life (QOL). The Healthcare Practices and Beliefs Scale (HPBS), an instrument designed to yield a “placebo” score or measure of beliefs and conditioning affecting health outcome, was piloted. A quasi-experimental repeated-measures design was utilized, with all subjects participating in two no-treatment control conditions preceding a series of four HT treatment conditions over one–two months. In a small sample (N = 15), 27% met the criteria for positive response, one on the sIgA measure and three on QOL as measured by the Functional Assessment of HIV Infection (FAHI). All positive responders were HIV symptomatic and showed evidence of change over the treatment series, as compared to change over a single HT treatment. HT could not be isolated as solely responsible for the positive changes. Positive responses may have been impacted by therapeutic alliance, as measured by Working Alliance Inventory (WAI-T and WAI-C). Alliance was positively related to change in Cognitive Functioning and negatively related to average sIgA change during treatment. Clients' perceptions of Bond and Tasks (sub-scales of the WAI-C) were positively related to changes in Physical Well-Being (sub-scale of FAHI). Bond was positively related to change on all FAHI sub-scales. ^ Clients' perceptions of Bond were negatively related to average sIgA change during treatment. The results should be interpreted in the context of a concurrent study in which significant relationships were found between several dimensions of attention and negative affect to the average sIgA change during HT. Average sIgA change during treatment was positively related to change in Emotional Well-Being. Attention and emotion may have mediated the treatment response. Twenty-four percent of HPBS items were related to outcome. Clients' past treatment effectiveness and confidence in the practitioner were positively related to changes in Physical Well-Being. Placebo, as measured by the HPBS-Revised (HPBS-R), may have contributed to positive treatment responses. The study provided preliminary evidence of criterion validity, construct validity and internal consistency for the HPBS-R in measuring beliefs and conditioning that contribute to treatment outcome. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Health Sciences, Immunology|Psychology, Physiological

Recommended Citation

Dawn Schluckebier Wilkinson, "The clinical effectiveness of healing touch on HIV -infected individuals: A pilot study" (2004). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3141941.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3141941

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