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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Hospital meals are existential asylums to hospitalized people with a neurological disease: A phenomenological-hermeneutical explorative study of the meaningfulness of mealtimes

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Aim: Hospital meals are challenging for neurological patients. Patients struggle with both physical eating disabilities and social issues during mealtimes. The aim of this study was to examine the meaningfulness of the phenomenon of hospital meals for hospitalized patients with a neurological disease.

Design: Interviews (N = 23) with neurological patients were analysed and interpreted to gain in-depth comprehensive knowledge of the phenomenon of hospital mealtimes.

Method: Data were analysed and interpreted in a three-phased process using a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach inspired by Paul Ricouer.

Results: Four themes were identified: (a) A lonely ride together with others; (b) Letting the chaotic setting fade into the background; (c) Mechanical activity with great personal significance; and (d) Humanizing the setting when eating in the hospital. Mealtimes were supporting existential moments to patients. Offering a calm mealtime setting was experienced by the patients as an asylum where uplifting and comforting feelings were raised.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing Open
Volume6
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)626-634
Number of pages9
ISSN2054-1058
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • aesthetics, appetite, care, disease, environment, hermeneutics, hospital, mealtimes, neurology, nursing, patients, phenomenology

ID: 56897711