Background: Neurological patients often suffer physical, cognitive, communicative, behavioural or psychosocial limitations. This may weaken the preconditions for participating in decisions about their treatment, rehabilitation and future. These impairments often cause relatives to care and advocate for the patient. This practice was gravely interrupted by the COVID-19 visitor ban.
Aims: This study aims to investigate how relatives of neurological patients experienced the visitor ban and to identify potential areas for improvement.
Methods: Twelve semi-structured interviews with relatives of neurological patients were conducted. Data were analysed by performing a thematic analysis inspired by Braun and Clark.
Results: The following six themes emerged: Visitor ban as a necessary evil, Losing control and feeling checkmate, Mending the information gap, Waiting by the phone, Empathy and compassion as the core of a good relationship and Caring for a loved one from a distance.
Conclusions: Having a loved one admitted to a neurological ward during the COVID-19 visitor ban greatly restrains relatives and affects the relationship with their loved one and the hospital healthcare staff. Healthcare staff need to take responsibility and reach out, while simultaneously exploring new ways of communicating.
|Journal||Journal of Research in Nursing|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2022|