Altmann and David Hambrick confirm that mental interruptions can impede performance. They report that “As steps of a procedure are performed more quickly, memory for past performance . . . become less accurate, increasing the rate of skipped or repeated steps after an interruption. We found this effect, with practice generally improving speed and accuracy, but impairing accuracy after interruptions. . . .
Bedrosian and Nelson studied how being exposed to light at night influences wellbeing and mood. They share that “Many systems are under circadian control, including sleep–wake behavior, hormone secretion, cellular function and gene expression. Circadian disruption by nighttime light perturbs those processes and is associated with increasing incidence of certain cancers, metabolic dysfunction and mood disorders. . . .
Seeing images of nature in the labor/delivery room improves the experience of giving birth. Aburas and her team report that “Incorporating design elements and strategies that calm and reduce negative emotions may create positive experiences for women in labor.” When images of nature were present during the labor and delivery period, scores were higher on “the Quality of Care From the Patient’s Perspective (QPP) subscale. In addition, there was an increase in the QPP scores associated with the increase in Nature TV watching time, QPP mean of watching time (less than 1 hour) group . . .
DuBose and her research team explored how spatial design can influence healing. They share that “there is a growing recognition that our healthcare system could do more by promoting overall wellness, and this requires expanding the focus to healing. . . . this review of the literature presents the existing evidence to identify how healthcare spaces can foster healing.
Psychiatric nurses have clear opinions about what is best
Noise has multiple roles in mental health facilities
Pati and colleagues investigated responses to curved and sharp contours in healthcare environments and gathered some intriguing data. The team report that “Recent studies in cognitive neuroscience suggest that humans prefer objects with a curved contour compared with objects that have pointed features and a sharp-angled contour.” During their study “subjects (representing three age-groups and both sexes) were exposed to a randomized order of 312 real-life images (objects, interiors, exteriors, landscape, and a set of control images).
Benson and Coleman have found that more older adults are choosing to “live apart together;” this new way of “co-habitating” has repercussions for home design, for example. As a press release related to the Benson/Coleman research details, “Since 1990, the divorce rate among adults 50 years and older has doubled. This trend, along with longer life expectancy, has resulted in many adults forming new partnerships later in life. A new phenomenon called ‘Living Apart Together’ (LAT)—an intimate relationship without a shared residence—is gaining popularity as an alternative form of commitment.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs reports that it has linked architectural/interior design consistent with the recommendations embedded in its Mental Health Environment of Care Checklist to fewer suicides by inpatients in its mental health units. The Mental Health Environment of Care Checklist is available free via the website noted below. Some details “A multidisciplinary group of VA employees developed the program to review inpatient mental health units and eliminate hazards that could increase the chances of patient suicide or self-harm.
Residents and staff benefit from thoughtful design