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Physical touch as a pathway to personhood in dementia care

Heap, Cheyann Jade


Cheyann Jade Heap


Chrissie Blackburn


This thesis portfolio comprises three parts: a systematic literature review, an empirical research paper, and appendices.

In part one, the systematic literature review, empirical literature relating to the use of touch interventions in dementia care is reviewed. The review focuses on the aims of touch interventions, and the outcomes of touch interventions for both the caregiver and the person with dementia. Results from the review are used to discuss the efficacy of touch in dementia care. Recommendations for future research are provided.

Part two, the empirical research paper, explores how societal discourses of dementia are enacted by professional caregivers in two different contexts: before and after training in a communication technique called Intensive Interaction. The results are analysed in terms of their social and political context. The implications of the results for person-centred dementia care, and related to this, Intensive Interaction practice, are discussed.

Part three comprises the appendices, including journal submission guidelines, an epistemological statement for the empirical research paper, and a reflective statement about the overall thesis.


Heap, C. J. (2016). Physical touch as a pathway to personhood in dementia care. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Mar 10, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Clinical psychology
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Psychological Health and Wellbeing, The University of Hull
Award Date Jun 1, 2016


Thesis (2.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2016 Heap, Cheyann Jade. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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