Skip to content

Good health encounters beneficial for patients

Published: 17 February 2017

Good encounters within the primary healthcare can help persons with long-term illnesses in their recovery from treatments, according to new research from Luleå University of Technology. To often meet new doctors and district nurses is however considered stressful and confusing by the patients.

– Good health encounters promote the patients’ health, says Anna Nygren Zotterman, doctor in nursing at Luleå University of Technology and district nurse.

She has in her doctoral thesis studied the experiences of encounters for people with long-term illness, their close relatives and district nurses within a primary healthcare setting.

The findings show that encounters are given great importance among people who have a long-term illness, their close relatives, and district nurses in the setting of primary healthcare. The manner in which the encounter was experienced in the relationship with healthcare personnel was, at many times, crucial for the whole care experience to be viewed as beneficial or not. 

High care needs

– The number of people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and asthma are increasing. This is a group of patients with high care needs, who are often in contact with the primary healthcare, says Anna Nygren Zotterman adding:

– There are national statistics that show that in this group there is a dissatisfaction with the care in terms of service and lack of communication. These patients experience a great frustration if the primary healthcare is not available, which can lead to them seeking help at the ER instead.

Anna Nygren Zotterman’s research shows that patients with a longterm illness experienced that good encounters had health-promoting effects on their health and recovery. Patients felt well when they were welcomed with respect, interest, and attention by the healthcare personnel.

The patients wanted to participate in their own care by receiving regular information and follow-up dialogues about their status with the healthcare personnel. Continuity with the healthcare personnel laid the foundation for a trustful relationship. 

– Continuity means a lot for these patients. They want to see doctors and nurses they have met before and do not want to share their entire medical history again at every visit, says Anna Nygren Zotterman.


Anna Nygren Zotterman, Doctor in Nursing at Luleå University of Technology, 0731-517 586, e-mail: