Complementary healing intervention and dermal wound reepithelialization: an overview

Author: Wirth DP
Affiliation: Healing Sciences Research International, Orinda, California, USA
Conference/Journal: Int J Psychosom
Date published: 1995
Other: Volume ID: 42 , Issue ID: 1-4 , Pages: 48-53 , Word Count: 210

A comparative analysis was conducted on a series of five experiments which examined the effect of complementary healing to the reepithelialization rate of full thickness human dermal wounds. The treatment intervention focused primarily on Noncontact Therapeutic Touch, which was administered within randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental protocols. An important methodological component of the studies was that in general the complementary healing practitioners were separated or isolated from the participants and subjects. This design element, coupled with the fact that in four of the five experiments subjects were blinded to the nature of the active treatment modality, resulted in the preclusion of suggestion, expectation, and the placebo effect; the factors which have confounded most prior complementary healing research. The results of the experiments indicated significance for the treatment group in the initial two studies in the series, and nonsignificant and reverse significant results for the control group in the remaining three experiments. Several factors were postulated as important considerations in the differential results obtained including: (1) cancellation and inhibitory elements; (2) carryover and learning effects; and (3) potential experimenter and placebo effect factors. Although the five studies represent a seminal research effort within the field of complementary healing, the overall results of the series are inconclusive in establishing the efficacy of the treatment interventions examined.