Room for caring: patients´ experiences of well-being, relief and hope during serious illness

Connie Timmermann, Lisbeth Uhrenfeldt, Regner Birkelund

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Aim: This study explores how seriously ill hospitalized patients' experience and assign meaning to their patient room. Background: Modern hospitals and the rational underlying care and treatment of today have their emphasis on diagnosis, cure and treatment. Consequently, aesthetics in the patient rooms such as a view of nature or natural light entering the room are often neglected in caring for these patients. Method: A phenomenological-hermeneutic study design was applied and data was collected through multiple qualitative interviews combined with observations at a teaching hospital in Denmark. Twelve patients participated. Findings: The findings show that a view of nature and natural light in the form of sunlight or daylight in the patient room play a significant role in creating positive and supportive thoughts and emotions in the seriously ill patients. Three themes were identified: (i) Experiencing inner peace and an escape from negative thoughts, (ii) Experiencing a positive mood and hope and (iii) Experiencing good memories. Conclusion: Our findings highlight aesthetic sensory impressions in the form of nature sights and natural light in the patient room as a powerful source of well-being, relief and hope for the patients during serious illness. Therefore, these sensory impressions should be thought of as holding palliative potential and should be included as a part of caring for the seriously ill patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)426-434
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Article first published online: 30 APR 2014


  • A view of nature
  • Aesthetic sensory impressions
  • Caring
  • Hope
  • Interviews
  • Patients' rooms
  • Phenomenological-hermeneutic
  • Relief
  • Sunlight
  • Well-being
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Thinking
  • Memory, Episodic
  • Male
  • Affect
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Patients' Rooms
  • Hospitalization
  • Inpatients/psychology
  • Denmark
  • Aged


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