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Nurses are expected to touch areas of patients’ bodies that are considered private and emotionally sensitive (intimate), yet little is known about how nursing students learn, rehearse, and incorporate appropriate touch strategies. Although touch education is important to all nurses, male students face additional challenges due to gender roles and negative stereotypes. The purpose of this quasiexperimental pilot study was to evaluate whether a 3-hour intimate touch instructional laboratory with subsequent clinical experience (intervention group) facilitated male students’ development of intimate touch knowledge, skills, and attitudes, compared with having only clinical experience and no laboratory (control group). Findings revealed that intervention group participants were significantly more comfortable with cleansing genitalia, less apprehensive about touch being misperceived as sexual, reported less gender requirement rigidity, and scored significantly higher on measures associated with client dignity, comfort, and respect than control group participants in a simulated perineal hygiene demonstration.


Previously published in Journal of Nursing Education

Published in 2014; Volume 53 No (3): pages 126-135.