Background: This study explores nursing personnel's experiences and perceptions of receiving tactile massage and hypnosis during a personnel health promotion project. Nursing in a short term emergency ward environment can be emotionally and physically exhausting due to the stressful work environment and the high dependency patient care. A health promotion project integrating tactile massage and hypnosis with conventional physical activities was therefore introduced for nursing personnel working in this setting at a large university hospital in Sweden.
Methods: Four semi-structured focus group discussions were conducted with volunteer nursing personnel participants after the health promotion project had been completed. There were 16 participants in the focus groups and there were 57 in the health promotion intervention. The discussions were transcribed verbatim and analysed with qualitative content analysis.
Results: The findings indicated that tactile massage and hypnosis may contribute to reduced levels of stress and pain and increase work ability for some nursing personnel. The sense of well-being obtained in relation to health promotion intervention with tactile massage and hypnosis seemed to have positive implications for both work and leisure. Self-awareness, contentment and self-control may be contributing factors related to engaging in tactile massage and hypnosis that might help nursing personnel understand their patients and colleagues and helped them deal with difficult situations that occurred during their working hours.
Conclusion: The findings indicate that the integration of tactile massage and hypnosis in personnel health promotion may be valuable stress management options in addition to conventional physical activities.