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AN EXAMINATION OF TOUCH BETWEEN NURSES AND ELDERLY PATIENTS IN A CONTINUING CARE SETTING IN NORTHERN-IRELAND

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McCann, K and McKenna, Hugh (1993) AN EXAMINATION OF TOUCH BETWEEN NURSES AND ELDERLY PATIENTS IN A CONTINUING CARE SETTING IN NORTHERN-IRELAND. JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING, 18 (5). pp. 838-846. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1993.18050838.x

Abstract

The use of touch is an inherent part of nursing practice. This investigation examined the amount and type of touch received by elderly patients from nurses. It also attempted to assess elderly patients' perceptions of instrumental and expressive touch given by nurses. The Extended Model of Interpersonal Interaction formed the conceptual framework for the study. Non-participant observation and semi-structured interviews were the methods employed for data collection. Results tentatively suggest that most nurse-patient touch interactions in a care of the elderly ward are instrumental in nature. Expressive touches are predominantly given to body extremities. The gender of the nurse initiating touch and the part of the body touched influence the elderly patients' perception of the touch interaction. In particular, expressive touching behaviours by nurses that involve the leg, face and around the shoulders are perceived as uncomfortable. The only touching behaviour perceived as comfortable by all respondents was instrumental touching of the arm and shoulder by a female nurse. Elderly patients may misinterpret the goal or the motivation behind touch initiation by a nurse. Therefore, an awareness and a sensitivity towards elderly patients' needs and desires for tactile communication are required by nurses.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
ID Code:19567
Deposited By:Yvonne Dunwoody (Admin)
Deposited On:11 Aug 2011 15:12
Last Modified:11 Aug 2011 15:12

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