A doctor is touching a child-patients shoulder.

Touch and Affect in health care interaction


Touch and affect play an important role in health care interaction. Empathic touch and other affective embodied interaction have positive impact on human health and wellbeing. On the other hand, many treatments requiring contact may cause negative feelings both among professionals and patients. In this study, we analyze the role of touch and emotion in different types of healthcare encounters, with video-recordings of real-world healthcare interaction in three different cultural contexts. We analyze emotions and touch as a process produced jointly by the parties involved and examine their significance as an integral part of achieving the goals of the treatment situation. The study contributes to the development of theory concerning the intertwine of touch and affect and helps to develop health care services to better meet the challenges brought by the rapid increase of technologically mediated care.




A picture of the research group