The effect of hospitalization on patients' emotional and psychological well-being among adult patients: An integrative review

Appl Nurs Res. 2021 Oct:61:151488. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2021.151488. Epub 2021 Aug 12.


Objective: Health care providers need to understand how hospitalization impacts patients' emotional statuses, to provide high quality of care. However, an overview of the literature suggests a dearth of research studies that examine and identify the effects of hospitalization on patients' emotional statuses and their well-being. In addition, no research review has synthesized this evidence before. To close this gap, this integrative review examines and synthesizes prior research findings regarding the effects of hospitalization on adult patients' emotional reactions and psychological well-being.

Method: This integrative review has been conducted based on the Whittemore and Knafl (2005) outline, which includes four steps: problem identification, literature search, data analysis, and presentation. Seven databases have been systematically searched, including CINAHL, EMBASE, OVID Medline, PsycINFO, SCOPUS, and Cochrane, with no date limitations through January 2021.

Results: The current review synthesizes the findings of 18 publications to identify patients' experiences and factors that evoked emotional reactions during hospitalization. Factors include the effect of admission to a hospital, length of stay, and readmission; these also influence hospitalization experience, the role of health care providers, and patient's characteristics.

Conclusion: The current review's findings yield essential information by confirming that hospitalization negatively affects patients' abilities to cope and adjust. Hospitalization demonstrably exacerbates patients' emotions and increases feelings of depression and anxiety. Understanding these findings may help to support patients throughout their hospital stays. Gaps in the evidence and future research recommendations are also explored and discussed to establish a stronger foundation.

Keywords: Emotional status; Hospitalization; Psychological well-being; Readmission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Health Personnel
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans