Emotional comfort: the patient's perspective of a therapeutic context
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Background: Comfort is a word that is frequently used to describe both physical and emotional aspects of the hospital experience. A number of definitions exist in the literature and there is a lack of clarity in understanding this concept.Objectives: This paper describes the therapeutic context of emotional comfort that was identified in a qualitative study that sought to explain the perceived therapeutic effect of interpersonal interactions that were experienced by patients during hospitalisation.Results: Patients interpreted the interpersonal interactions that they experienced during hospitalisation in terms of their experience of emotional comfort or discomfort. A central feature of emotional comfort was the patient's perception of personal control.Conclusions: This study provides a greater understanding of the concept of comfort from the perspective of hospitalised patients. It highlights that patients approach their illnesses or injuries perceiving that a connection exists between the mind and the body.
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Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
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