Patients experiences of their relationships with relatives and their collaboration with nurses during contact in non-COVID-19 hospital wards – a qualitative study

Birgith Pedersen, Birgitte Lerbæk, Lone Jørgensen, Helle Haslund Thomsen, Charlotte Brun Thorup, Maja Thomsen Albrechtsen, Sara Jacobsen, Marie Germund Nielsen, Kathrine Hoffmann Kusk, Britt Laugesen, Siri Voldbjerg, Mette Grønkjær, Karin Bundgaard Mikkelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

COVID-19 restrictions prevented relatives from visiting and accompanying patients to hospital and required that nurses wore personal protective equipment. These changes affected patients’ relationships with relatives and challenged their ability to connect with nurses. Individual, semi-structured interviews with 15 patients were carried out to explore patients’ experiences of their relationships with relatives and their collaboration with nurses during in- and outpatient contacts in non-COVID-19 hospital wards. The analysis of data was guided by phenomenological hermeneutic frame of reference and the study was reported according to the COREQ checklist. The findings illustrated that patients felt lonely and insecure when separated from relatives, caught between relatives and professionals during information exchange, and experienced the absence of relatives as both beneficial and burdening. Visitor restrictions provided patients with time to heal but prevented provision of informal care. Patients had to take responsibility for maintaining contact with relatives independent of their health condition. COVID-19 restrictions created distance with nurses, which potentially led to insufficient physical and psychosocial care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Nursing Research
Volume43
Issue number1
ISSN2057-1585
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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