Feasibility of Training and Delivering Compassionate Touch in Long-Term Care.

Author: Han A1, Kunik ME2
1a Department of Occupational Therapy , Yonsei University , Wonju , Republic of Korea.
2b Baylor College of Medicine , Michael E. DeBakey VAMC , Houston , Texas , USA.
Conference/Journal: Clin Gerontol.
Date published: 2017 Sep 19
Other: Volume ID: 1-9 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/07317115.2017.1381212. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 210

OBJECTIVES: Limited evidence supports the use of therapeutic touch for people with dementia (PWD). Interventions incorporating a person-centered approach to touch delivered by staff may benefit PWD and staff in long-term care settings. The Compassionate Touch® (CT) program provides skilled human touch and a compassionate presence following a person-centered approach and touch protocol. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of training and delivering CT.

METHODS: An online survey was sent via email to 112 staff who attended the CT coach training. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were used to analyze closed-and open-ended questions of the survey.

RESULTS: Twenty-four staff members completed the survey and reported positive perspectives about the training, use of the program, and benefits for PWD and themselves. Five themes emerged, including (1) benefits for residents, (2) challenges in using CT, (3) when to use CT, (4) training staff, and (5) needed support.

CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings from the present research show potential benefits of using the CT program for residents, challenges participants faced in using the program and training other staff, and support needed to overcome these challenges.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Programs such as CT may benefit PWD and staff in residential care settings.

KEYWORDS: Alzheimer’s disease; caregivers; dementia; long-term care; massage therapy; surveys and questionnaires; therapeutic touch

PMID: 29220625 DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2017.1381212