Becoming a nomad when hospitalized with a neurological disease: a phenomenological study

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  • Malene Beck, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Eileen Engelke, Pace University, Columbia University
  • ,
  • Regner Birkelund, Vejle Hospital
  • ,
  • Bente Martinsen

Patients with a neurological disease are affected by their ability to maintain focus and are easily disturbed by outside stimuli. Few studies have investigated how sensory impressions from the physical environment contribute to patient’s wellbeing during hospitalization. However, no studies have explored the meaning of the environment to patients with a neurological disease during hospitalization. To understand what it is like to be a patient in a hospitalized environment at the neurological department. Nine patients were interviewed. Data analysis was inspired by the hermeneutic phenomenological methodology of van Manen. Four themes were identified: Perceiving unrest leading to despair; Angling for attention from staff; Being in a vacuum of imposed passivity; Seeking breathing spaces. The study provides insight into how environment plays a significant role in relation to existential issues for patients during hospitalization. Hence, the patients illuminate the experience of becoming nomads lurking around to find breathing spaces when they were not offered a calm and familiar environment. Patients shared that a hospital interior can be appealing and uplifting, decreasing their experiences of placelessness and thereby supporting them in a life situation where they feel less threatened concerning their health and wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1815487
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Volume15
Issue1
Number of pages12
ISSN1748-2623
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • aesthetics, Hospital environment, phenomenology, placelessness, sensory impression, van Manen

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