The Perceptions, Experiences, and Preferences of Patients Receiving Clinician’s Touch During Intimate Care and Procedures


  • Chad O'Lynn PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF
  • Adam Cooper RN-BC, MSN
  • Lisa Blackwell, MLS

The objective of this qualitative systematic review was to identify and synthesize findings on the perceptions, experiences, and preferences of patients receiving clinician’s touch during intimate care and procedures.  Seven findings were organized into three categories and one synthesized finding, “clinician respect”.  The finding suggests that clients prefer engaged and meaningful communication prior to and during an intimate touch encounter, expect autonomy over their bodies, and desire shared decision-making relative to how and by whom intimate touch would be provided.  The synthesized finding from this review suggests that:

  • Health care educators introduce clinician respect as an approach to care activities that involve intimate touch
  • Clinicians practice with overall respect toward their patients by communicating clearly, honoring patients’ concerns and preferences, and engaging patients in decision-making in order to improve patients’ comfort with intimate touch.