"I don't feel like me anymore" : The impact of the hospital gown on wellbeing

Morton, Liza and Cogan, Nicola (2019) "I don't feel like me anymore" : The impact of the hospital gown on wellbeing. Beauty Demands.

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Abstract

Despite the known impact of clothing on social identity and self-expression, the impact of hospital clothing on patient wellbeing has been widely overlooked. In the UK a 'one size fits all', backless gown, held together with ties at the back, is commonly used to provide access to medical professionals for examination and medical investigations. We were interested in exploring the impact of wearing this gown on patient wellbeing during a time of medical vulnerability. We led this work in collaboration with Dr Georgiadis, Sports and Exercise Psychologist, University of Suffolk. Using a multi-method approach, consisting of two studies, we considered the impact of the hospital gown on wellbeing among adults with and without chronic health conditions. The first study consisted of conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews (n = 10) with adults living with a lifelong chronic health condition (Congenital Heart Disease). The second study was a cross-sectional, online survey exploring adults' views (n = 928) and experiences of wearing the hospital gown.