Touch as a therapeutic tool is essential in physiotherapy practice and used for various therapeutic purposes. The aim of the project is to develop new knowledge about the meaning of touch as a non-verbal communication recourse in physiotherapy.
Touch as a therapeutic tool is essential in physiotherapy practice and part of the profession’s identity and competence. Yet, touch as such is little discussed and explored within the field of physiotherapy.
Recent research on physiotherapy practice highlights touch as a non-verbal communication resource with many functions, and potentials of creating close contact between therapist and patient and a dialogue in which both are engaged as active partners. Still, little is known about the relational and communicative aspect of touch in physiotherapy.
Using psychomotor physiotherapy in primary health care as the case, the aim of the project is to develop new knowledge on the meaning of touch as a relational and communicative recourse in physiotherapy practice.
The study will draw on social scientific theories and methodologies about communication. The study has a qualitative research design, with observation of clinical encounters and interviews of both patient and therapist as method.
The results may contribute to provide a better health care services to patients in need of physiotherapy, and better meet the need for person-centered care to an increasingly aging, chronically ill, and complex population.