Touch: Knowledge and considerations for nursing practice

Alison While*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Social distancing has reduced the amount of touch in everyday life. This article summarises the current state of knowledge regarding the biological underpinnings of touch, varied preferences for touch, including cultural norms, and its potential psychological and physical benefits for recipients. The lack of nursing research and related evidence are noted, and suggestions are made regarding the use of consensual touch as part of non-verbal communication within community nursing practice to express compassion and help build authentic relationships between nurses and their clients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-194
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • Compassion
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Nurse-patient relationship
  • Touch
  • Wellbeing


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