Nightingale theory and intentional comfort touch in management of tinea pedis in vulnerable populations

J Holist Nurs. 2010 Dec;28(4):244-50. doi: 10.1177/0898010110373655. Epub 2010 Jul 26.


Vulnerable populations, specifically migrant farm workers and persons experiencing homelessness, are often at an increased risk for foot infections. This risk is related to their working and living conditions, socioeconomic status, limited access to health care, frequent exposure to wet environments, limited access to clean and dry socks and shoes, bathing or laundry facilities, and daily routines that requires them to be on their feet for long periods of time. After years of caring for these populations and hundreds of clinical encounters, an evidence-based, effective method of foot care that incorporates intentional comfort touch has been developed. This article describes methods for mitigating the severity of fungal growth, decreasing the risk of secondary infections, and improving skin integrity by manipulating the micro-environment of the patients' feet. This includes fundamental aspects of hygiene as described by Florence Nightingale's Environmental Theory that suggests that direct sunlight, fresh air, and cleanliness improves health.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • England
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Holistic Health
  • Holistic Nursing / history*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene / history
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nurse's Role / history*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Patient Education as Topic / history*
  • Therapeutic Touch / history*
  • Therapeutic Touch / nursing
  • Tinea Pedis / history*
  • Tinea Pedis / nursing
  • Vulnerable Populations*

Personal name as subject

  • Florence Nightingale