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




Ferraresi M, Roberta Clari, Moro CI, Banino E, Boero E, Crosio A, Dayne R, Rosset L, Scarpa A, Serra E, Surace A, Testore A, Colombi N, and Piccoli BG


BMC Nephrol. 2013; 14: 129.
Published online 2013 Jun 21. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-14-129


Systemic Review of the current evidence on Reiki and related techniques as pain-relievers on a renal dialysis ward.
Studies were included that had both the patients views and the doctors views.
6 studies were appraised from 25 original articles..


The overall picture deriving from the first steps of the analysis is of a widely used treatment of significant but limited efficacy, devoid of side effects, in no case inferior to placebo or the controls.

Conclusion: The results of a systematic review, supplemented by a further updating, demonstrate a statistically significant but clinically barely relevant benefit from Reiki. The use of Reiki should therefore be probably discouraged if only efficacy is considered, but chosen if the emphasis is on “non-maleficium” (not doing harm) or the patient’s autonomy; the issue of justice modulates the choice according to the burden of overall costs, and the availability of the treatment in the different settings.

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