The aim of this article is to provide a cursory review of some of the literature relating to loneliness, existentialism and touch. With reference to the critical incident analysis (see Box 1), a reflection on the learning that has been achieved both intrapersonally and interpersonally will also be provided. A consideration of how exactly this experience of structured reflection may be used to enhance and develop practice will also be explored. The review will analyze the key concepts of loneliness, existentialism, the therapeutic relationship and touch within the realms of nursing practice, specifically in relation to death and dying. This article seeks to highlight the importance of having an understanding of loneliness in nursing, particularly when caring for patients who are dying.
Playfair C. Br J Nurs. 2010 Jan 28-Feb 10;19(2):122, 124-6. The Royal Sussex County Hospital, East Sussex.