Freysteinson, W.M. & Cesario, S. (2008) Have we lost sight of the mirrors? The Therapeutic Utility of Mirrors in Patient Rooms. Holistic Nursing Practice, 22(6), 317-323.
Armed with a tape measure, Dr. Freysteinson measured the mirrors in ten hospitals. The results suggested there were few mirrors for the bedbound. Mirrors within the bedside tables were missing or often impossible to open. For the wheelchair bound patients, mirrors were often too high on the wall to allow one to view one’s own face. In two of the ten hospitals, the mirrors were so high on the wall, that they provided one with a view of one’s face. A chair or stool would be needed to see one’s own chest. In an international survey study, nurses from around the world reported that frequently there are more mirrors in hospital lobbies and elevators than there are in patient rooms. Can you imagine what it may be like to have your first view of your post-operative body in an elevator mirror while surrounded by strangers? Nursing must begin to research mirror-viewing experiences so that we may better determine the size, shape and position of mirrors in our healthcare agencies.