Touch in mental health nursing: an exploratory study of nurses' views and perceptions
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to explore psychiatric nurses' perceptions of physical touch with people who experience mental health problems. A descriptive exploratory qualitative research design was used. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 10 registered psychiatric nurses who met the inclusion criteria and were randomly selected to participate in the study. Burnard's 14 stage-by-stage process of coding and categorization was used to analyse the data. Watson distinguished between two kinds of physical touch: instrumental and expressive. The findings indicated that physical touch was used in mental health nursing; however, it was only considered to be therapeutic to clients if used judiciously, with effective interpersonal skills. The participants in this study clearly identified the need to be sensitive to both the individual client needs, and honour their personal space and cultural background. A significant issue in this study was male participants concerns that touching female clients would be misinterpreted as a sexual advance. To protect themselves, male participants used touch in a cautious and minimal manner, and only in a public space, where others could view the interaction. In the absence of research on physical touch in mental health nursing there is a need for further research to explore in detail these findings.
SourceAvailable from: Lorretta Krautscheid[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Nurses are expected to touch areas of patients' bodies that are considered private and emotionally sensitive (intimate), yet little is known about how nursing students learn, rehearse, and incorporate appropriate touch strategies. Although touch education is important to all nurses, male students face additional challenges due to gender roles and negative stereotypes. The purpose of this quasi-experimental pilot study was to evaluate whether a 3-hour intimate touch instructional laboratory with subsequent clinical experience (intervention group) facilitated male students' development of intimate touch knowledge, skills, and attitudes, compared with having only clinical experience and no laboratory (control group). Findings revealed that intervention group participants were significantly more comfortable with cleansing genitalia, less apprehensive about touch being misperceived as sexual, reported less gender requirement rigidity, and scored significantly higher on measures associated with client dignity, comfort, and respect than control group participants in a simulated perineal hygiene demonstration. [J Nurs Educ. 2014;53(x):xxx-xxx.].02/2014; DOI:10.3928/01484834-20140211-08
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ABSTRACT: Although intimate touch is essential to nursing practice, few studies have investigated patients' wishes and how nurses should perform in preserving patient privacy in China. A maximum-variation sample of 18 adults was selected, and semistructured interviews were conducted in two focus groups. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and thematic analysis was performed. Five themes emerged from the interviews. These findings suggest that nurses should pay more attention to the patient's attitudes, needs and wishes.International Journal of Nursing Practice 04/2014; 20(2):221-5. DOI:10.1111/ijn.12129 · 0.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Instrumental touch is identified as having purposeful physical contact in order to complete a task. Expressive touch is identified as warm, friendly physical contact and is not solely for performing a task. Expressive touch has been associated with improved client status, increased rapport and greater gains made during therapy. The purpose of the study was to observe the frequency of expressive and instrumental touch utilized by an occupational therapist during an occupational therapy session. Thirty-three occupational therapy professionals, including occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, employed at skilled nursing facilities in southwest Florida were observed. Data were collected on the Occupational Therapy Interaction Assessment. The results of the data analysis showed a positive relationship between the gender of the therapist and the frequency of expressive touch. The data also showed that a large majority of touches were instrumental touch and pertained to functional mobility. The results of the study can contribute to a better understanding of the holistic aspects of occupational therapy. By the use of more expressive touch, occupational therapy practitioners may have a positive, beneficial effect on both the client and the therapy process as a whole. Further research is needed to determine the effect an occupational therapy setting has on the frequency of instrumental and expressive touch. A larger sample size and a distinction between evaluation and treatment sessions would benefit future studies. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Occupational Therapy International 09/2014; 21(3). DOI:10.1002/oti.1374 · 0.67 Impact Factor