Aesthetics sets patients ‘free’ to recover during hospitalization with a neurological disease: A qualitative study

Malene Beck*, Eileen Engelke, Regner Birkelund, Bente Martinsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Patients with neurological symptoms are particularly sensitive to the quality of the sensory impressions to which they are exposed to during hospitalization. Aim: To understand the meaning of aesthetic experiences to patients afflicted with neurological diseases during hospitalization on a neurological unit. Method: Fifteen patients were invited to “walk and talk” supplemented by semi-structured interviews conducted in newly established aesthetic tableaus within the neurology unit. Data analysis was inspired by the hermeneutic phenomenological methodology of van Manen. Result: The data analysis identified three overarching themes that unfolded in the patients’ experiences of a more aesthetic environment. The themes were: 1) A safe place to avoid noisiness, 2) An invitation to homey activities, 3) A thoughtful consideration for being ill. Conclusion: Aesthetic elements can enable a thoughtful and needed consideration that withholds momentarily imaginative and hopeful experiences to patients in a vulnerable situation. Thus, aesthetics, together with peace and quietness, can set vulnerable patients free to retreat and recover from the symptoms of neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1992843
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • aesthetics
  • Hospital environment
  • phenomenology
  • sensory impression
  • van manen


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