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Table 2 Characteristics of selected articles

From: Reiki and related therapies in the dialysis ward: an evidence-based and ethical discussion to debate if these complementary and alternative medicines are welcomed or banned

Author, year Study design Participants Measurements Treatment Comparison Outcomes Results Side effects CASP score
So, 2008 Review 24 studies (1153 participants) VAS, NRS, McGill Pain Index, SF-36, analgesic usage, MPAC, FACT Touch therapies(TT): Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch Sham placebo or ’no treatment’ control Pain (acute or chronic) Statistically significant reduction of pain with different treatment, especially with Reiki (95% CI: -1.16 to −0.50) Not evaluated 7/10
McCormack, 2009 RCT n=90 elderly patients with post-surgical pain: n=30 non-contact therapeutic touch, n=30 metronome treatment, n=30 no treatment VAS, MPAC,TAS,HAT,pupil size Reiki Routine care, placebo Post-operative pain Statistically significant reduction of pain in the Reiki group, worsening of pain in the metronome group (p<0.01) Not reported 7.5/10
MacIntyre, 2008 RCT, not blinded n= 290 patients (mean age 64) undergoing first time elective coronary artery bypass surgery n=237 at the end of the study MEDD, STAI Healing Touch Visitors and no intervention Post-operative pain, anxiety, physical and mental status, length of stay Significant reduction of hospital stay and anxiety. No significant reduction of pain Not reported 7.5/10
Frank, 2007 RCT, patients, data collection staff and data analyst blinded n= 82 females undergoing Stereotactic Core Breast Biopsy: n=42 intervention, n=40 placebo VAS Therapeutic Touch (TT) Sham Reiki Post-biopsy pain, lidocaine/ epinephrine dosage Increase of pain in both groups, not statistically significant Increase of pain in both groups 7.5/10
Assefi, 2008 RCT, patients, data collection staff and data analyst blinded n=100 adults with fibromyalgia (23 real direct Reiki: 24= real distant Reiki, 23= sham direct Reiki, 23=sham distant Reiki) VAS Reiki Sham Reiki Pain, fatigue, sleep quality, well-being Neither Reiki nor touch improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia in all groups Not reported 7.5/10
Aghabati 2010 RCT n= 90 patients with cancer and normal level of consciousness, age 15–65: n=30 TT, n=30 placebo, n=30 control VAS, RFS Therapeutic Touch (TT) Mimic therapeutic touch and no intervention Pain, fatigue Statistically significant decrease in pain and fatigue in TT vs placebo or control (p=0.04) Excess energy and anxiety in both groups 8/10
  1. Legend: RCT Randomized Controlled Trial, VAS Visual Analogue Scale, NRS Numeric Rating Score, SF-36 questionnaire for health-related quality of life, MPAC Memorial Pain Assessment Card, FACT Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy, TAS Tellegen Absorption Scale, HAT Health Attribution Test, MEDD Morphine-Equivalent Dosage, STAI State Trait Anxiety Inventory, RFS Rhoten Fatigue Scale.