Perceptions of therapeutic touch by adults with chronic pain

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Luz Porter

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Alan Gruskin

Third Advisor's Name

Divina Grossman

Date of Defense



This study, using a pre-experimental one group pretest, posttest design sought to describe the perceptions of therapeutic touch (TT) by adults with chronic pain. A sample of 14 adults from an outpatient physical medicine practice and an acute rehabilitation facility were asked to rate their pain and degree of relaxation before and after receiving TT for 5 to 15 minutes. They were also asked open-ended questions to describe their perceptions of the TT experience.

Findings from this research indicated that adults' feelings of relaxation post TT were significantly greater than their pre-TT feelings of relaxation (p=<.05), and their perceptions of pain post TT were significantly lower than their pre TT pain perceptions (p=<.05), supporting the research hypotheses. Qualitative phenomenologic data analysis revealed that TT is a multidimensional modality affecting the physiological, psychological, and spiritual aspects of human existence, all of which are severely distressed in adults with chronic pain.



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