Therapeutic touch and the terminally ill: healing power through the hands

Author: Snyder JR
Conference/Journal: Am J Hosp Palliat Care
Date published: 1997
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 83-7 , Special Notes: Review , Word Count: 369

I hope it has become apparent that the use of Therapeutic Touch can be a useful addition to more conventional hospice treatments. Also, it can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience for the patient. It has been so for me. I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity of introducing Therapeutic Touch into the Allegheny Hospice, a program of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are still in the early stages of implementation. Currently, we are initiating a research program to accomplish the following with respect to Therapeutic Touch: Demonstrate that Therapeutic Touch does, in fact, yield the same results when performed in a hospice setting as when performed in other settings established by prior research. Establish the degree to which drug levels can be reduced (if any) by the introduction of Therapeutic Touch into the treatment regimen and still maintain an acceptable level of pain control. Demonstrate that the quality of life can be improved for the patients and their families through the use of Therapeutic Touch over the current treatment methods not using Therapeutic Touch. Establish sufficient documentation for respective insurance providers to justify future payment for this treatment. It is envisioned that this program will be accomplished later this year. Our hospice organization is a very dynamic one, dedicated to bringing the best possible care to our patients. In addition to the aforementioned Therapeutic Touch research program, we have just embarked on another research effort to determine the advantages of using a 'Low Pressure Air Mattress' to reduce the incidence and severity of skin breakdown. This has the potential to improve the quality of life not only of the patient but also of the care giver. In this day and age when many seem to have severely neglected the sick and elderly, there is a great opportunity for creative, compassionate people to become involved in hospice programs around the country. In so doing, you could render an invaluable service to your fellow, man, and, at the same time, achieve a deep sense of fulfillment. Anyone wishing to become involved in a hospice program or interested in learning Therapeutic Touch may contact me at Allegheny Hospice, a Allegheny Center, 6th floor, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15212.