Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 577–585 | Cite as

Participating in a world that is out of tune: shadowing an older hospital patient

  • Hanneke van der Meide
  • Gert Olthuis
  • Carlo Leget
Scientific Contribution


Hospitalization significantly impacts the lives of older people, both physically and psychosocially. There is lack of observation studies that may provide an embodied understanding of older patients’ experiences in its context. The aim of this single case study was to reach a deeper understanding of one older patient’s lived experiences of hospitalization. The study followed a phenomenological embodied enquiry design and the qualitative observation method of shadowing was used. In April 2011, one older patient was shadowed for 7 days, 5–7 h per day. To facilitate understanding in the reader the experiences are first presented in a story and subsequently analyzed by means of the lifeworld framework. The findings show that hospitalization is experienced as ambiguous safety, disconnected time, the feeling of being partially involved, and the struggle to re-attune to the body.


Older hospital patients Shadowing Lifeworld Phenomenology Qualitative research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanneke van der Meide
    • 1
  • Gert Olthuis
    • 2
  • Carlo Leget
    • 3
  1. 1.Tilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Radboud University Medical Centre NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of Humanistic StudiesUtrechtThe Netherlands

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