A qualitative investigation of hospital visitors’ experiences using the analytic lens of liminality: Informing nursing practice and policy

Janet Underwood, Christine Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This research aimed to inform nursing practice and policy by identifying satisfying and problematic experiences of hospital visitors during the hospitalisation episode of a significant other. An extensive contextual review revealed that healthcare systems in advanced economies face multiple pressures and that in England, the government leaves the determination of hospital visiting rules to individual trusts. The analytic lens of liminality provides rich interpretations of visitors’ accounts and demonstrates the importance to visitors of structure (hospital rules and systems) and communitas (social bonding among liminal personae). Supportive hospital structures reduce the challenges of liminality and increase satisfaction. The data further suggest an extension to current understandings of liminality. Strong structure and successful communitas permit a safe exit from liminality after the hospitalisation episode for visitors with a close emotional bond with the patient.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12239
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNursing Inquiry
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date22 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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