Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experience of receiving therapeutic touch in people with heart failure
by Shields, Deborah Ann, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2008, 422; 3312816
Abstract (Summary)

An esthetic hermeneutical-phenomenological clinical study on 6 women and 2 men with heart failure, ranging in age from 41-83 years, was conducted for the purpose of exploring the meaning of the lived experience of receiving Therapeutic Touch. Participants received four weekly Therapeutic Touch treatments from a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner (QTTP). At the completion of the four treatments, the researcher conducted a 1- to 2-hour face-to-face interview with each participant. The interviews were open-ended and began with one primary question, "What has your experience of receiving Therapeutic Touch been like?" Each participant took the lead in the interview, allowing it to unfold naturally. Transcripts of each interview and individual themes were created and then reviewed by each participant for confirmation.

Analysis of the data revealed 7 metathemes with 13 thematic foundations: "My Heart is Open" (openness, willingness to help others); "Silence is Golden" (relaxation, relief, rest); "Those Were the Days" (my special place, treasured memories); "Living Slow" (loss, courage); "The Breath Goes On" (continuance); "I Am Person, Hear Me Roar" (courage, empowerment); and "My Heart is Not Failing" (willingness to help others, hope, living). The metaphor, "One Day at a Time," emerged from the stories of these people living with heart failure. A unity of meaning of the experience of receiving Therapeutic Touch was revealed. The theory of meaning, "Giving Voice to My Story ... Discovering Hope for My Today," was revealed through a reflective process.

Within this caring inquiry, the movement of hermeneutical-phenomenological theorizing to a theory of meaning is represented in an art form. "Lotus Dance" gives form to the experience as a process that is both dynamic and interactive. The essence of the meaning of lived experience of receiving Therapeutic Touch for these people living with heart failure is discovering hope through telling their story.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rubik, Beverly
Commitee:
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 69/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Heart failure, Palliative care, Therapeutic touch
Publication Number: 3312816
ISBN: 978-0-549-61616-0
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