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Table 2 Qualitative themes of satisfaction with life

From: Patient outcomes after critical illness: a systematic review of qualitative studies following hospital discharge

Theme Example quote(s)
Positive outlook 1. “I have got such a different outlook on life … I’ll have the odd day where I will dwell a bit … but everyday is a new day and its a beautiful day … I’m a different person.”
2. “One might well say that it has been for me, even though it sounds strange—a good experience. And the fact that I continually find out more about the emotionally strong memories I have, actually provides me with insight into myself!”
Acceptance “You live with what you’ve got—–that is the attitude I took. Alright I’m sick and I’ve got this and I’ve got that. I can’t do this and maybe I won’t be able to do that, so you adjust and you move on.”
Gratitude 1. “I try to cram in as much living as I can, because it could all end tomorrow …”
2. “I look out from the window and I see people walking and I cry out of joy, because I am alive … and I had never realized that before …”
Independence “It's great in a way [being back at home) because you have to do things on your own. And then you start getting stronger and you take your rest breaks, and you do it again, and you do get assistance, you would need the assistance like for grocery shopping and stuff like that. But as time goes by you start getting stronger.”
Boredom “… that’s the worst thing about coming out of hospital, sitting doing nothing …”
Loneliness/isolation “I do not enjoy being with people, usually I keep silent. I don’t want to be with them or to share their talks … They asked a lot … They asked about being in the unit … I feel that they sympathize with me … I do not want to remember that time.”
Wish they had not lived “Sometimes in the evenings I’ve thought to myself … ‘hell, it would have been better to have slipped away’ … then you feel nothing.”