Feeling all alone in the world -experiences of patient's with a neurological disease during a COVID-19 visitor ban: An interview study

Nurs Open. 2022 Jun 21. doi: 10.1002/nop2.1278. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore how patients with neurological disease experienced a COVID-19 visitor ban and to identify ways of improving the quality of care.

Background: In March 2020, a temporary visitor ban was introduced in Danish hospitals to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This led to changes in clinical practice, leaving patients without their loved ones beside them. Since neurological patients are already considered vulnerable due to physical, and sometimes cognitive impairment, we urgently wished to investigate these circumstances to facilitate appropriate support.

Design: This study was conducted using a qualitative explorative design.

Methods: Fourteen patients with neurological disease were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Data were analysed through inductive thematic analysis.

Results: For most patients, being hospitalized during the COVID-19 visitor ban was a painful experience with the potential to negatively influence both their mental and physical health.

Keywords: interviews; neurology; relative.