Much has been written about the symbolic function of the white coat; its implications of purity; its representation of authority and professionalism and its role in consolidating medical hierarchy. By contract the medical literature has paid almost no attention to the patient gown" Wellberry & Chan, 2014.
To better understand the impact of hospital clothing on wellbeing I am leading a collaborative study. We are focusing on people with a congenital heart condition because this is a population who often require medical treatment throughout their lives.
If you were born with a heart condition we are interested in hearing of your experience of hospital clothing and its impact on your feelings, identity and the impact of design on perceptions of wellness. We plan to use the findings from the study to enhance the patient experience and to inform the development of hospital clothing to positively impact on wellness and mobility.
Where & When?
This study is run in collaboration between researchers at Strathclyde University, The University of Suffolk’s Congenital Heart Research Centre and Inga Wellbeing. The study will be run in both Strathclyde University, Glasgow and at the University of Suffolk. The study will be conducted in September/October in Glasgow and Suffolk.
What does the study involve?
The study involves taking part in a 90 minute focus group in which you will be asked to discuss you experience of hospital clothing, its impact on your patient journey as well as its impact on your emotions and identity. You will be required to attend a focus group at either Strathclyde University in Glasgow or at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich (depending on where you live). You will be in a group with up to 5 other participants who have had experience of a congenital heart condition.
In the second part of the focus group you will be provided with an item of patient wear clothing from INGA Wellbeing. You will be asked to discuss how the garment: the way it feels, the finish, the cut, the look and the way it makes you feel.
Focus groups will be led by a member of the research team for this study. Participants will be asked to fill out a consent form highlighting their willingness to participate in a focus group and have that focus group audio recorded. The recordings will be anonymized and kept in locked storage.
To take part in the study you need to be:
What are the potential risks to you in taking part?
Some questions may be about the way in which you view yourself and your experience of having a congenital heart condition. Should you feel ongoing discomfort at any time, you may elect to remove yourself from the focus group for a few moments, or you can decide to stop participating entirely. In the event that emotional distress should continue, you can contact The Somerville Foundation's Mental Health Helpline run by Anne Crump, Mental Health Support Worker. Anne will know about the details of the study.
What happens to the information in the project?
Only the team working on the research project has access to the audio recordings. The information will be stored on electronic files and password protected. The interviews will be audio recorded and transcribed. You will be able to request a copy of the transcription should you wish to do so. Copies of the transcription and audio will be kept up until the research has been published. Your participation in this research will be kept in the utmost confidence. Short extracts from the interviews will be used in the final report but your identity will be protected by not including your name or any information that would make you identifiable.
Participants will also receive a small gift of a canvas tote bag and a discount for INGA Wellbeing for taking part in the study and refreshments will be provided.
Both the University of Strathclyde and the University of Suffolk are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office who implements the Data Protection Law, GDPR, 2018. All personal data on participants will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Law, GDPR, 2018.
What happens next?
If you are interested in taking part in this study please contact the lead researcher nearest you by email.
Lead Researcher contact details Scotland:
Dr Liza Morton, Chartered Counselling Psychologist / Teaching Fellow, School of Psychological Sciences and Health Graham Hills Building University of Strathclyde, 40 George St, Glasgow G1 1QE
Lead Researcher contact details Suffolk:
Dr Manos Georgiadis, Senior Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology, University of Suffolk, School of Science, Technology and Engineering, Waterfront Building, Suffolk, IP4 1QJ
This investigation was granted ethical approval by the University of Strathclyde Ethics Committee and The University of Suffolk’s Ethics Committee.
If you have any questions/concerns, during or after the investigation, or wish to contact an independent person to whom any questions may be directed or further information may be sought from, please contact:
Secretary to the University Ethics Committee
Research & Knowledge Exchange Services
University of Strathclyde
Graham Hills Building
50 George Street
Telephone: 0141 548 3707