Baring all: the impact of the hospital gown on recovery and wellbeing

Liza Morton, Nicola Cogan, Georgiadis Emmanouil (Manos)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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Background: Despite recent drives to empower patients with person centred health care provisions, the institutionalised acceptance of the hospital gown persists. Research has yet to explore the impact of wearing the hospital gown on patients’ health, wellbeing and recovery.

Methods: Two studies were carried out to consider the impact of the hospital gown on wellbeing and recovery among adults with and without chronic health conditions. The first study consisted of conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews (n = 10) with adults living with life-long chronic health conditions, which were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematic analysis was used to identify themes from the qualitative data. The second study was a cross-sectional, online survey exploring adults’ views (n = 700) and experiences of the hospital gown.

Expected results: Qualitative analysis identified the following master themes: (1) loss of ‘healthy’ identity, (2) symbolic embodiment of the ‘sick’ role, (3) relinquishing control to medical professionals, and (4) vulnerability, disempowerment and embarrassment. Quantitative analysis of the online survey data indicated that adults often reported wearing the hospital gown despite lack of medical necessity. Its design was considered to be not fit for purpose and lacking in dignity.

Current stage of work: Completed qualitative data collection and preliminary analysis of data. Data collection for online survey is ongoing.

Discussion: The implications of these findings are discussed, emphasising the importance of challenging cultural norms in healthcare since de-humanising aspects of care may contribute adversely impact wellbeing and recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2019
Event33rd Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 3 Sept 20197 Sept 2019


Conference33rd Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society
Internet address


  • hospital gown
  • person-centred care
  • psychologically-minded care
  • empowerment


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