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Meanings of participation in hospital care - as narrated by patients

Åsa Nilsson, Birgitta Lindberg, Siv Söderberg, Malin Olsson


Objective: Patient participation is said to be an important factor for patients to experience satisfaction and quality with hospital care. Still, little is known about what participation actually means for patients in the specific context of hospital settings. Therefore, the aim of this study was to elucidate meanings of participation as narrated by patients.

Method: Narrative interviews were conducted during the Autumn of 2013 until the Spring of 2014 and then phenomenological hermeneutically interpreted. In this study, we suggest that the phenomenon of participation in hospital care is experienced by the patient when being a co-creator and seen as an important person in a trustful context.

Results: The results illustrate that an experience of an open, cooperative and coherent environment invites and contributes to participate despite being in a vulnerable situation. The study highlights the importance of responding to each patient as a person, who sometimes has a need to participate actively and sometimes wants to hand over and assume the role of patient in the hospital care setting.

Discussion: Meanings of participation among patients in hospital care can be understood as a phenomenon experienced when being an involved co-creator and seen as an important person in a trustful context. In this study, as well as in previous research it is obvious that participation in hospital care concerns more than being involved in decision-making and receiving information.


Clinical communication, dignity, hospital care, lived experiences, narratives, nursing, patients, patient-clinician relationship, patient participation, patient satisfaction, person-centered healthcare, phenomenological hermeneutic interpretation, qualita

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