Therapeutic Touch : Its Effectiveness On Surgical Incision Site Pain

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Therapeutic Touch : Its Effectiveness On Surgical Incision Site PainINTRODUCTION Therapeutic touch has been shown to decrease patients anxiety levels andincrease their pain tolerance levels when other more mainstream therapies havenot been completely effective. 'Therapeutic touch is a process by which energyis transmitted from one person to another for the purpose of potentiating thehealing process of one who is ill or injured.' (Heidt, 1981; Krieger, 1979;Lionberger, 1985; Randolph, 1984; Kramer, 1990). In my capacity as a nursingstudent on a medical - surgical unit, I have noticed an increase in painmedication requests among patients with incision site pain and a minimal use ofalternative therapies for this pain management. With the use of therapeutictouch nurses can regain a closeness with patients and also have a direct effecton their pain level. Therefore the purpose of this study will be to determineif therapeutic touch is an effective intervention for patients experiencingsurgical incision site pain within the first forty-eight hours after surgery. PROBLEM STATEMENT The question posed for study is: 'Is therapeutic touch an effectiveintervention for decreasing a patients surgical site pain within the firstforty-eight hours after surgery?'. The independent variable is therapeutictouch.

The dependant variable is decreasing surgical site pain. The populationto be studied will be patients on a thirty bed medical-surgical floor of a LakeCharles hospital. Fifty surgical patients will be studied over a four weekperiod. The patients will be randomly selected to avoid any bias by theresearcher. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROBLEM '.. therapeutic touch is a nursing intervention that has the potentialfor eliciting a state of physiological relaxation in patients and for decreasingpatients anxiety' (Heidt, 1991). The use of therapeutic touch is very importantto the nursing community. The need for immediate intervention in acute orchronic pain could be handled at the bedside with no need to await a doctor'sorder for pharmacological intervention. Anxiety could be lessened to le

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