The Doctor's Touch: Tactile Communication in the Doctor-Patient Relationship

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Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This paper reviews the historical meanings of tactile communication to the doctor (the diagnostic touch) and to the patient (the healing touch) and discusses the importance of touching in the context of changing medical technology. The quality of health care depends not only on how well physicians and other health professionals perform their tasks and the reliability of the technologies they use, but also on their ability to be human. To touch and be touched is part of the process of staying well or getting well.

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