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Circles of Care
Improving the hospital experience by empowering the patient's social network

Circles of Care

Background knowledge Mapping In-depth interviews Concept and testing

Interviews: the hospital experience

"You have your right to have your little things… the hospital can’t cut your life completely. That’s awful”.
Maria, 68, Italy .

I didn’t want people to visit me… I just wanted things to be different”.
Silvia, 35, Italy .

I think it depends on where people are at, in the course of their illness. In the beginning it was really tiring to even read a newspaper”.
Linda, 56, US.

We have conducted orpen ended interviewes with eight people, from diferent nationalities and various hospitalization experiences.
Some of them were given digital cameras beforehand and were asked to take pictures of things that they related with health and empowerment

We also conducted interviews in Ivrea's local hospital, with doctors and nurses.

Here are some insights from these interviewes:

1. Hospital Experiences
Polarizing experiences kept coming up. With the bad hospital experience came a good hospital experience. The differences in the experiences lay in the little things. The friendliness of the staff played an important role in this judgment.

2. Small things make big difference
It was important to have little distractions to enrich ones life at a hospital. Painting nails, getting your hair done, watching a movie and sharing a joke.

3. Loss of Individuality and identity
Patients felt a loss of sense of individuality and identity from many aspects of a hospital stay.

“The hospital is not about you… Looses that individual aspect which you need so much when you are sick.” (Silvia)

“They don’t accept that you are a human being with your personality, with your hobbies, with your little things…they put your mind away” (Maria)

4. Loneliness and Fear
Loneliness never seemed to be a problem. The interviewees expressed a sense of fear rather then loneliness while in the hospital.

5. Empowerment/Disempowerment
Lack of information and strict social control made patients feel disempowered. Patients felt submissive.

6. Communication
Patients felt a certain sense of disempowerment with not having the ability to have a proper exchange with the doctors.

Health - Empowerment - Socializing. Picture taken by interviewees

Next: Concept development and testing