Touching Nursing Home Residents

Student thesis: Master programme thesis

  • Louise Gorell Mackenhauer
4. term, Master of Sexology (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
Purpose: To explore the nature of touch between caregivers and residents in a nursing home in Denmark in 2017, in conjunction with other similar studies of international character. Focus will be on categorization and nature of touch, how it affects the residents experience and which role the caregivers have when it comes to the nature of touch.
Design: Systematic literature review combined with data collected from a focused ethnography.
Method: Both the findings from the systematic literature review and the collected data were analyzed on the basis of a hermeneutical approach based on meaning condensation as a way of providing the themes of the analyzed data. Data was collected through participant observations and described through descriptive statistics.
Findings: There are similarities between the findings from the older international studies and the findings from the newly Danish produced data from focused ethnography. However, there is discrepancy in relation to gender and touch as well as in the residents' experience of touch. Furthermore, the focus on skin-to-skin touch is absent from the chosen international litterature.
Conclusion: This study suggests that the categorization between expressive and instrumental touch does not fit into a Danish context, since all interactions with touch from caregivers to residents, opposed to the experience from international studies, seems to contribute positively to the residents’ wellbeing.
Keywords: Touch, elderly, nursing home, touch-deprivation, focused ethnography.
Publication date7 May 2017
Number of pages54
ID: 257158612