Patient involvement in the hospital and the role of materiality

This essay emphasizes how materiality, for example room and clothes, is a co-creator of patient and healthcare interaction in hospitals and of the opportunities for patient involvement in the patient’s own course of disease.

The hospital is a special physical context with special social activities. You need to have experienced hospital rooms to be able to perceive and understand the social activities in them. An understanding of this is required to be able to interact with healthcare professionals from a position where you as a patient feel competent. Healthcare professionals therefore need to reflect on how to invite newcomers, such as patients, into hospital settings and create an atmosphere that promotes patient participation. This discussion about what role the surroundings play for patient involvement is exemplified through a glance at the operating theatre.

Keywords: hospitalization, identity, objects, patient involvement, social settings