patients' experiences of well-being, relief and hope during serious illness
Aim This study explores how seriously ill hospitalized patients' experience and assign meaning to their patient room. Background Modern hospitals and the rational underlying care and treatment of today have their emphasis on diagnosis, cure and treatment. Consequently, aesthetics in the patient rooms such as a view of nature or natural light entering the room are often neglected in caring for these patients. Method A phenomenological-hermeneutic study design was applied and data was collected through multiple qualitative interviews combined with observations at a teaching hospital in Denmark. Twelve patients participated. Findings The findings show that a view of nature and natural light in the form of sunlight or daylight in the patient room play a significant role in creating positive and supportive thoughts and emotions in the seriously ill patients. Three themes were identified: (i) Experiencing inner peace and an escape from negative thoughts, (ii) Experiencing a positive mood and hope and (iii) Experiencing good memories. Conclusion Our findings highlight aesthetic sensory impressions in the form of nature sights and natural light in the patient room as a powerful source of well-being, relief and hope for the patients during serious illness. Therefore, these sensory impressions should be thought of as holding palliative potential and should be included as a part of caring for the seriously ill patients.
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 2015, Vol 29, Issue 3, p. 426-34