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Research article2010Peer reviewedOpen access

Soft skin massage for children with severe developmental disabilities caregivers' experiences

Henoch, Ingela; Björkdahl, Ann; Darfeldt, Kristina; Berglind, Nordh Ingrid; Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin; Möller, Anders


The present study was designed to elucidate relational and behavioural effects of soft skin massage in children with severe developmental disability as observed by those administering the massage. Sixteen children aged 7-20 years with congenital brain injury or early acquired brain injury received soft skin massage during a 10-week period. After the intervention period structured interviews were conducted with the soft skin massage providers concerning how they experienced the outcomes of the intervention. The interviews were analysed with qualitative content analysis. Categories found in the interviews concerned closeness, social interaction, bodily responses, feelings and importance of preparation. Soft skin massage was found to contribute to more closeness and social interaction between children with severe developmental disabilities and their caregivers, as well as increased communication skills in the children. The children became more aware of their bodies and increased their bodily activities and a sense of well-being was created


soft skin massage; children; developmental disabilities; caregiver opinion

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research
2010, Volume: 12, number: 4, pages: 221-232
Publisher: Routledge