The Role of Touch in Holistic Nursing Essay

The Role of Touch in Holistic Nursing Essay

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Background
Holistic nursing, CAM and the role of ‘touch’
The conception of holism for a person is to posit his/her body as a container for emotions and experiences (Sointu, 2013). Holistic care implies the meaning of both patients’ diagnosed illness and their overall wellness and life circumstances, which is also referred to as an array of ‘complementary and alternative therapies’ (Jaimet, 2012). Bishop & Lewith (2010) reviewed 110 articles and found that populations that have chorionic healthy conditions and have dissatisfaction towards conventional medicine, appear more likely to be CAM users; and the use of CAM is not necessarily confined within life-threatening diseases. Moreover, the study by Davidson (2005) in Ireland indicates that the use of complementary therapy was not associated with higher levels of psychopathology and distress; rather, CAM users demonstrated a mental adjustment to cancer and fulfillment of psychological needs. Touch is a form of alternative and complementary healing practice which is used in a variety of ways (Leder & Krucoff, 2008) and is considered to capture the holistic nature of nursing (Hallett, 2004)
Touch in holistic nursing and the philosophy behind touch
The notion of awareness is rooted in the holistic health arena, and touch could facilitate the potential healing awareness through the recognition of the embodied identity of clients (Sointu, 2013). Owing to the great contact time with patients,hospital nurses are cited as common referrers to this potential healing service (Lorenc et al., 2010). Touch can evoke a full range of human emotions from hatred to the most intimate love relationship through the skin communication system, messages received from the external environment are deliv...


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...of tactile touch research
Research defects identified from these studies are subjective scales for measuring stress level, external environment disturbance and small sample size. Thus, the results from these studies should be interpreted as tentative. As acknowledged by Henricson et al.(2009), different data collectors, the inability of blinding the intervention group, and the confounding influences from different meditation constitute a threat to the studies’ validity and reliablity. Moreover, the immidiate measurment of parameters after the end of intervention supports further need of the long-term observation (Homayouni et al., 2012). This viewpoint confirmed by the phemenonology study by Henricson et al.(2009), where patients expressed negative feelings of being abandoned and feel lonely again after sessions finished, and expectations of further continuation.

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