To investigate the basic dimensions of patient emotional experience of hospitalization; to identify the moderators of emotional experience in terms of individual characteristics and contextual factors; and to investigate the contribution of the dimensions of the patient emotional experience to satisfaction with foodservices.
One hundred two hospitalized patients of a specialized, acute-care, urban hospital in Canada who required one or more overnight stays. Patients with notable physical, cognitive, or emotional limitations were excluded from the study. Patients admitted to the obstetrics department were also excluded because of the unique nature of their emotional experience of hospitalization.
Factor analysis followed by orthogonal rotation (varimax), analyses of variance, and multiple regression analyses.
Five dimensions represented the emotional experience of hospitalization: positive emotions, arousal emotions, and three negative dimensions structured on the basis of their possible causes (situation-, other-, or self-attributed negative emotions). Individual characteristics (gender, age, marital status, perceived health status) and contextual factors (perceived control over the situation, complexity of medical diagnosis, and admission procedures) significantly influenced patient emotions. Satisfaction with foodservices was structured in technical and interpersonal dimensions; the largest part of the common variance was accounted for by interpersonal aspects. The relationship between emotions and satisfaction was direct for positive emotions and, surprisingly, for situation-attributed negative emotions and self-attributed negative emotions. Other-attributed negative emotions and arousal emotions were negatively associated with satisfaction with foodservices.
Results suggest that dietitians' interventions should be adapted for subgroups of patients who experience different emotions. Results also provide insights on individual and contextual factors that can be used to identify or better understand the specific characteristics of these subgroups. The pattern of relationships between emotions and satisfaction demonstrates that the fine-tuning of dietitians' interventions as a function of patients' emotional states may be conducive to increased patient satisfaction with foodservices.