Effects of tellington touch in healthy adults awaiting venipuncture


  • M. Cecilia Wendler

    Corresponding author
    1. Nursing Systems, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
    • Nursing Systems, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, School of Nursing, Room 265, 105 Garfield Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Associate Professor.

  • Colin Medical Instruments Corporation provided patient monitoring equipment at no charge for this study. The author acknowledges the numerous contributions of Dr. Marlaine Smith, Dr. Carolyn Vojir, Dr. Nancy Hester, and Dr. Francelyn Reeder (University of Colorado Health Sciences Center) and Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer (University of Minnesota School of Nursing) during the development and completion of the research. Also acknowledged is the editorial assistance of Dr. Rosemary Jadack and Dr. Carol Vojir, as well as the assistance of anonymous reviewers. The author thanks the research and clinic teams, who greatly facilitated completion of this work.


Many natural-healing modalities administered by professional nurses are provided without adequate scientific scrutiny. Tellington touch (TTouch), a form of gentle physical touch originally developed for the calming of horses, is an emerging nursing intervention. However, the safety and efficacy of human TTouch has not yet been established. The purpose of this study, which used a pretest, posttest repeated-measures control group design, was to identify patterns of mean blood pressure (MBP), heart rate (HR), state anxiety (SA), and procedural pain (PP) in healthy adults receiving a 5-min intervention of TTouch (n = 47) just before venipuncture versus a no-touch control group (n = 46). There were statistically and clinically significant decreases in the TTouch group in MBP and HR. There were no significant differences between groups in SA and PP. Further research is essential to determine the safety and efficacy of this modality for acutely or critically ill patients. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 26:40–52, 2003