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The method of nursing support in hospital and patients' and family members' experiences of the effectiveness of the support

Authors

  • Elina Mattila PhD,

    Director of Nursing, Corresponding author
    1. Division of Surgery, Gastroenterology and Oncology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
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  • Marja Kaunonen PhD,

    Adjunct Professor
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, School of Health Sciences, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Science Center, Tampere, Finland
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  • Pirjo Aalto PhD,

    Chief Nursing Director
    1. Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
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  • Päivi Åstedt-Kurki PhD

    Professor
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, School of Health Sciences, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Science Center, Tampere, Finland
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Abstract

Nurses are an important source of support for patients and family members during hospitalization. It is unclear, however, what kinds of support methods are used in hospitals and how the support affects the patient and family member(s). This study describes methods of nursing support in hospital and adult patients' and their family members' experiences of this support. The data were collected in spring 2009 through essays written by and group interviews with nurses (n = 11) working at a Finnish university hospital. The data from patients (n = 9) and family members (n = 7) were collected in individual and group interviews. The material was interpreted by inductive content analysis. In their interaction with patients and family members, the hospital nurses used the methods of emotional and informational support. Patients' and family members' experiences of the effectiveness of this support were related to the establishment of a care relationship, their future outlook, mental well-being and experiences of getting well. The evidence from this research will be useful in developing methods of nursing support for patients and family members and family-oriented care in hospital.

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