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Healing Touch in Treating Patients Receiving Chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia or Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00321880
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 4, 2006
Last Update Posted : May 30, 2017
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Wake Forest University Health Sciences

Brief Summary:

RATIONALE: Supportive care, such as healing touch, may improve quality of life in patients receiving chemotherapy for acute leukemia.

PURPOSE: This clinical trial is studying how well healing touch works in treating patients receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia or acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Fatigue Leukemia Psychosocial Effects of Cancer and Its Treatment Procedure: therapeutic touch

Detailed Description:


  • Determine the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled trial, in terms of recruiting and retaining participants, to a study of healing touch (HT) as supportive care in patients receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia or acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • Examine potential barriers to participation and ascertain reasons for study drop-outs in these patients.
  • Demonstrate whether these patients will comply with treatment sessions and remain in the study.
  • Obtain preliminary data on the effectiveness of HT on psychological distress and treatment-related symptoms focusing on fatigue and sleep disturbances in these patients.
  • Determine if the HT protocol needs to be refined, modified, or eliminated, based on pilot participant feedback, for a randomized clinical trial.

OUTLINE: This is a pilot study.

Within 1 week of admission to the hospital, patients are interviewed by a research assistant about previous use of complementary or alternative medicine therapies, knowledge of healing touch (HT), previous experience with HT, willingness to participate in a study of HT for acute leukemia patients, and willingness to be randomized in a HT study. The first 12 patients interested in undergoing HT undergo a 30-minute session of HT therapy 3 times a week during weeks 2, 3, and 4 of induction or reinduction chemotherapy. Patients are also asked to rate current distress, pain, fatigue, and nausea before and after the second HT session during weeks 2, 3, and 4. Patients also complete self-report questionnaires at baseline, during week 5 of induction or reinduction chemotherapy or prior to discharge from the hospital, and during the first week of consolidation chemotherapy (approximately week 9-13).

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 40 patients will be accrued for this study.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 40 participants
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: Healing Touch as a Supportive Intervention for Adult Acute Leukemia Patients: A Pilot Study
Study Start Date : February 2006
Primary Completion Date : February 2007
Study Completion Date : October 2008

Intervention Details:
    Procedure: therapeutic touch
    administration of healing touch in 30 minute sessions

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Feasibility of recruiting and retaining patients for a randomized controlled trial to study healing touch (HT) as supportive care [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  2. Effectiveness of healing touch on reducing psychological stress and fatigue [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 120 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Diagnosis of one of the following acute leukemias:

    • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
    • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Hospitalized for induction (newly diagnosed patients) or reinduction (relapsed patients) chemotherapy
  • Must be oncology inpatients at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center


  • Must know adequate English to understand the consent form, complete questionnaires, and converse with study staff


  • See Disease Characteristics

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00321880

United States, North Carolina
Wake Forest University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States, 27157-1096
Sponsors and Collaborators
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Suzanne C. Danhauer, PhD Wake Forest University Health Sciences

Responsible Party: Wake Forest University Health Sciences
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00321880     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000471996
First Posted: May 4, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 30, 2017
Last Verified: July 2012

Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No

Keywords provided by Wake Forest University Health Sciences:
psychosocial effects of cancer and its treatment
adult acute myeloid leukemia with 11q23 (MLL) abnormalities
adult acute myeloid leukemia with inv(16)(p13;q22)
adult acute myeloid leukemia with t(15;17)(q22;q12)
adult acute myeloid leukemia with t(16;16)(p13;q22)
adult acute myeloid leukemia with t(8;21)(q22;q22)
recurrent adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia
recurrent adult acute myeloid leukemia
untreated adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia
untreated adult acute myeloid leukemia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Leukemia, Myeloid
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Signs and Symptoms