Spenshult Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden. Ulrika.Bergsten@Spenshult.se
To investigate how patients with rheumatic disease perceive tactile massage as a complement to other pain alleviation methods.
A phenomenographic approach with semi-structured interviews was employed on a strategic sample of 14 patients with various rheumatic diseases, both inflammatory and non-inflammatory, who had been admitted to Spenshult Rheumatic Hospital.
Three descriptive categories with a total of nine conceptions emerged. The descriptive categories were: experiencing alleviation, experiencing trust, and gaining insight. Experiencing alleviation described how patients experience relaxation, pleasure and respite. Experiencing trust described how patients experience a sense of security, confirmation and inner peace. Gaining insight described how patients get to know themselves, see possibilities, and experience wholeness.
When caring for patients who have a chronic illness involving considerable changes to their lives, it is important for health professionals not only to be aware of their physical needs but also to take account of the whole person. This study demonstrates the importance of offering patients a complement to conventional treatment. Tactile massage is a method that promotes a holistic view of patients with chronic pain as well as allowing them to find a new focus in terms of the disease and how they cope with it in their daily lives.