Effect of Reiki Therapy on Pain and Anxiety in Adults: An In Depth Literature Review of Randomized Trials with Effect Size Calculations




Thrane, S Cohen, S M


Pain Management Nursing. 2014 Dec;15(4):897-908.
doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2013.07.008. Epub 2014 Feb 28.


A systematic search of the literature was undertaken using pain, anxiety, and Reiki as keywords. Articles were included in the review if they (a) used Reiki therapy as one arm of the study, (b) used randomization with a control or usual care group, (c) were published in peer-reviewed journals, (d) measured either pain or anxiety, (e) published in 2000 or later, and (e) were published in English. From 49 potential studies – 7 were finally included in the review.


It is worth noting that studies were published from 2000 or later. A) There are very few high quality studies that explore the use of Reiki therapy for pain or anxiety. B) The studies were not comparable: The interventions were dissimilar and the populations presented are different. C) Design issues included small sample sizes, the timing of interventions in relation to the complaint, and the length of the intervention in relation to the issue. D) The majority of studies in this review did achieve statistical significance or near significance on the variable of interest. The paper concludes that there is enough evidence to suggest continued research using Reiki therapy.

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