Hospitalized patients often experience feelings of anxiety and dehumanization. It is not well understood if creating a strong positive relationship between health care providers and patients can positively affect these feelings. We investigated using a patient's “life story” to help facilitate a meaningful interpersonal relationship between patients and hospital staff in hopes of positively affecting patients' sense of spiritual well‐being, social support, and hope.
Participants in the study were patients admitted to a general medical ward of a large academic group‐practice hospital. A total of 19 patients were enrolled over 8 months. Using standardized questionnaires, volunteer staff helped patients create “Tree of Life” posters, which were displayed at their bedsides throughout their hospitalization. Each Tree of Life poster had information on a patient's sources of encouragement, “life lessons,” things enjoyed, places visited, family, and roots. In addition, a linear analog scale assessment (LASA) 7‐item score was generated at admission and at discharge. The LASA was used to quantify the patient's quality of life and was scored on a scale from ‐5 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The mean score was compared to a score of 0 points. In addition, an overall emotional well‐being score was obtained. Statistical analysis was performed using the 1‐sample t test.
A mean score of at least 1 point (10% of the range of scale) was considered statistically significant. Mean improvement in the LASA score for the primary outcome was 1.1 points (P < .05). There was also improvement in the emotional well‐being score, a secondary outcome, which improved 2.7 points from admission. (P < .005).
Posting a life story was associated with substantial improvement in emotional well‐being among hospitalized patients. Tools such as “life stories” that promote interpersonal communication between patients and providers may be a way to improve the emotional well‐being of hospitalized patients.
T. B. Pipe, None; K. Mishark, None; P. Hansen, None; J. Hentz, None; Z. Hartsell, None.
To cite this abstract:Pipe T, Mishark K, Hansen P, Hentz J, Hartsell Z. Effect of Posting Life Stories on Patient Emotional Weil‐Being. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2007, May 23-25, Dallas, Texas Abstract 50. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2007; 2 (suppl 2). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/effect-of-posting-life-stories-on-patient-emotional-weilbeing/. Accessed November 12, 2019.