Therapeutic touch has been shown to decrease patients anxiety levels and increase their pain tolerance levels when other more mainstream therapies have not been completely effective. 'Therapeutic touch is a process by which energy is transmitted from one person to another for the purpose of potentiating the healing process of one who is ill or injured.' (Heidt, 1981; Krieger, 1979; Lionberger, 1985; Randolph, 1984; Kramer, 1990). In my capacity as a nursing student on a medical- surgical unit, I have noticed an increase in pain medication requests among patients with incision site pain and a minimal use of alternative therapies for this pain management. With the use of therapeutic touch nurses can regain a closeness with patients and also have a direct effect on their pain level. Therefore the purpose of this study will be to determine if therapeutic touch is an effective intervention for patients experiencing surgical incision site pain within the first forty-eight hours after surgery.
PROBLEM STATEMENT The question posed for study is: 'Is therapeutic touch an effective intervention for decreasing a patients surgical site pain within the first forty-eight hours after surgery?'. The independent variable is therapeutic touch. The dependant variable is decreasing surgical site pain. The population to be studied will be patients on a thirty bed medical-surgical floor of a Lake Charles hospital. Fifty surgical patients will be studied over a four week period. The patients will be randomly selected to avoid any bias by the researcher.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROBLEM '... therapeutic touch is a nursing intervention that has the potential for eliciting a state of physiological relaxation in patients and for decreasing patients anxiety' (Heidt, 1991). The use
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of therapeutic touch is very important to the nursing community. The need for immediate intervention in acute or chronic pain could...