Comforting Touch as a Co-Occupation Between Hospice-Care Clients and Their Caregivers




Sajan, Sheba

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Patients in hospice undergo occupational challenges daily, and occupational therapists are underutilized in this setting due to a misunderstanding of occupational therapy’s (OT) role in end-of-life care. One way that OTs can allow these clients to live with dignity before death is through the use of a comforting touch program. Comforting touch is meant to be used as a non-strenuous means to still enjoy worthwhile companionship with their loved ones. The OT doctoral student created a 4-week comforting touch program as their capstone project to be implemented with a hospice-care client and their caregiver. The student adapted the Relative Mastery Measurement Scale (RMMS) as a pre/post-survey to assess the caregiver’s level of efficiency, efficacy, and satisfaction. Results showed an increase in both factors at the conclusion of the program. Though the program showed a positive increase in these metrics, the program would need to be further explored. Limitations of the study include a small sample size due to time constraints and a low amount of participants that fulfill program criteria.



Comforting touch, Co-occupation, Hospice, Hospice care, Hospice-care clients, Caregivers, Comforting touch techniques, Comforting touch program, End of life, End-of-life