Document Detail

Balancing between being a person and being a patient-A qualitative study of wearing patient clothing.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18799159     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The nursing literature is replete with articles on the function of clothing in preventing and controlling infections. However, although contemporary literature demonstrates intimate connections between clothing and identity, there is a lack of studies which illuminate the meanings associated with wearing patient clothing. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to illuminate the meanings of wearing patient clothing as narrated by patients and nurses in Swedish care settings. DESIGN: The data collection was based on grounded theory. Interviews with patients (n=9) and staff (n=5) were drawn from a larger study and analysed with a phenomenological hermeneutical method. SETTINGS: Data was collected between 2001 and 2003 at a hospice, an in-patient geriatric unit, an acute medical unit, and an in-patient oncology unit in Sweden. RESULTS: The phenomenon of 'wearing patient clothing' was found to consist of four themes: (1) being comfortable and cared for; (2) being depersonalised; (3) being stigmatised; and (4) being devitalised. Interpreted in the light of philosophical literature on identity and symbols, the comprehensive understanding of wearing patient clothing is that it is a balancing between being a person and being a patient. Patient clothes were experienced as being comfortable and practical, but also as being stigmatising symbols of illness, confinement, and depersonalisation. CONCLUSIONS: The tension between patient clothing as being practical and comfortable and at the same time enabling feelings of being depersonalised and stigmatised suggests that nursing staff need to balance the practical benefits of these garments with the social and existential meanings they might have.
David Edvardsson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-09-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of nursing studies     Volume:  46     ISSN:  1873-491X     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Nurs Stud     Publication Date:  2009 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-12-08     Completed Date:  2009-08-03     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400675     Medline TA:  Int J Nurs Stud     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  4-11     Citation Subset:  IM; N    
Department of Nursing, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological*
Attitude of Health Personnel*
Attitude to Health*
Clothing / psychology*
Depersonalization / psychology
Existentialism / psychology
Inpatients / psychology*
Nursing Methodology Research
Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
Qualitative Research
Self Concept
Sick Role

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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