Background: Underlying diseases and aggressive procedures, such as different types of surgery and care, for patients with critical conditions in intensive care units (ICU) may be associated with physiological disorders.
Objectives: This study intended to determine the effect of therapeutic touch on physiological variables of patients undergoing mechanical ventilation in ICU.
Methods: This randomized clinical trial with a control group was conducted on 60 mechanically ventilated patients hospitalized in internal and adult intensive care units of educational hospitals of Zanjan University of Medical Sciences from 22 November 2014 to 22 June 2015. Patients were randomly divided into the intervention and placebo groups. Therapeutic touch was administered in four sessions. Physiological variables, such as Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP), Mean Arterial
Pressure (MAP), and Heart Rate (HR) were recorded in both groups before and after each therapeutic touch session. Data was analyzed using SPSS 21.
Results: The results from comparison of physiological variables in the intervention group before each session showed a significant reduction only in heart rate (p<0.001). Moreover, results from comparison of physiological variables in the intervention group after therapeutic sessions showed significant differences in SBP (p=0.025), MBP (p=0.033), and HR (p=0.002).
Conclusion: It seems that therapeutic touch can result in a greater stability of some physiological variables of mechanically ventilated patients, if it is administered frequently for long term.