Author: Giasson M//Leroux G//Tardif H//Bouchard L
Conference/Journal: Infirm Que
Date published: 1999
Other: Volume ID: 6 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: 38-47 , Special Notes: Controlled Clinical Trial , Word Count: 172
In the advanced stages of dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT), affected persons present body language and various behaviours expressing discomfort: shouting, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, tense movements. Nursing, up until now, has had few available means to ease this discomfort. The authors of the following article have conducted an experimental study measuring the alleviating effects of therapeutic touch on the discomfort of persons in the advanced stages of DAT. Experimental group subjects (n = 16) received 5 sessions of therapeutic touch lasting 12.4 minutes. Control group subjects (n = 11) received 5 sessions of simple presence lasting 10.3 minutes. The authors measured subject discomfort levels using the Discomfort Scale for Dementias of the Alzheimer's Type (DS-DAT). Results show that discomfort levels of persons in the advanced stages of DAT decreased significantly after 5 therapeutic touch sessions, becoming significantly lower than levels in the control group. If care was focused on the whole person and his or her comfort, tools like therapeutic touch would become available to nurses, allowing them to enhance the quality of life of the people in their care.