To examine the experience of therapeutic touch in the lives of postpartum women.
Qualitative study of five postpartum women who participated in therapeutic touch for 2 months during home visits that focused on postpartum issues and concerns. The visits were audiotaped and transcribed. Data were coded and classified; linkages between categories were sought.
Five themes or essences of the experience emerged: Feeling Relaxed, Feeling Open, Feeling Cared For, Feeling Connected, and Feeling Skeptical.
The women and the researcher experienced many positive emotions during the home visits. Although it is unknown whether it was the visit, the interaction, or the therapeutic touch that helped the women feel cared for, the experience of participating in therapeutic touch seemed to add a dimension of mutual caring that added a special and unique quality to the home visit.
Jane Kiernan is an Assistant Professor, Cayuga Community College, Auburn, NY and a Community Health Nurse, Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester, Rochester, NY. She can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.