The experience of therapeutic touch from a nursing perspective

Author: Hayes J//Cox C
City University, St Bartholomew's School of Nursing and Midwifery, Whitechapel, London
Conference/Journal: Br J Nurs
Date published: 1999
Other: Volume ID: 8 , Issue ID: 18 , Pages: 1249-54 , Word Count: 164

This article describes the phenomenon of therapeutic touch (TT). Similarities and differences in the experience of the phenomenon from the perspective of a novice practitioner and healthy volunteers are highlighted. A qualitative analysis of findings indicates that the experiences of giving and receiving TT can be classified within two categories: the cognitive (knowing in the widest sense); and conative (instinct and feeling). The key constructs which emerged in this study are associated with feelings such as tingling, warmth, coolness, comfort, peace, calm and security. Formulation of the two main categories, cognitive and conative, emphasize the relationship associated with what is known by the mind and instinctively felt by the body. The holistic aspects associated with the phenomenon of TT are confirmed in the therapeutic relationship which can be formed between the practitioner and recipient during the administration of TT. It is suggested that TT, when provided by the nurse in the clinical setting, can promote feelings of comfort, peace, calm and security among patients.