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Understanding the patient multidimensional experience: a qualitative study on coping in hospitals of Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, France

Authors Reach G, Fompeyrine D, Mularski C

Received 27 November 2014

Accepted for publication 13 January 2015

Published 9 April 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 555—560


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Gérard Reach,1 Denis Fompeyrine,2 Carole Mularski2

1Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Avicenne Hospital APHP and EA 3412, CRNH-IdF, Paris 13 University, Bobigny, France; 2Direction des Patients, Usagers et Associations, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France

Objective: Time spent in hospitals is complex and entails a number of distinct phases that fluctuate depending on many variables. Attempts to understand patients’ experiences often involve focusing on their needs using self-evaluation, but this does not clearly highlight the complexity of coping. Questionnaires based on telephone surveys and emails do not facilitate a sufficient assessment of the coping effort. However, when patients express themselves through spontaneous narration, different dimensions may emerge in their experience at the hospital. This qualitative study explores the various forms of coping among patients with a hospital experience.
Methods: Interviews were conducted with 75 patients in six hospital departments. Transcripts from interviews were thematically analyzed and a conceptual, multidimensional model was developed to explain the relationship between patient experience and coping complexity.
Results: Patients used a set of about 50 different terms to describe their experiences in the hospital. They described with the greatest number of words the aspects that triggered their stress or distress and forced them to cope. Stress resulting from the experienced situation was classifiable into five dimensions: trauma, environment, medical, interpersonal affective, and social impact, which constitute invariants that may require individual complex coping strategies.
Conclusion: Patient experience is hard to evaluate, and this represents a permanent challenge for medical teams. Considering the five coping dimensions delineated in this study may be helpful in improving the patient’s hospital experience.

Keywords: patient experience, stress, biopsychosocial model

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