Steelcase conducted a pediatric healthcare-related literature review and developed design principles that can be used in a variety of spaces, from waiting areas to exam rooms. Via the literature review, Steelcase determined that in pediatric healthcare settings “engaging young patients in their surrounding environment can help minimize anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Exploration provides choices, and choices provide a sense of control. . . . Children need movement and sensory experiences to reduce stress. . . .
The Center for Health Design is providing free, at the web address noted below, an interactive rendering highlighting key research that can be applied during the design of treatment rooms in emergency departments. As noted on the website on which the diagram appears, “Two goals are often at the center of current care models for mental or behavioral health: safety and healing. In the Emergency Department, design has traditionally focused on safety for both patients and staff through checklists for ligature-resistance.
Putting behavior in its place
Gore and colleagues studied the effects of seeing art on anxiety among cancer patients. They report that they compared anxiety levels for “three groups (participants who observed an electronic selection of artwork with and without guided discussion, and a control group that did not engage in either dedicated art observation activity). . . . [average] anxiety scores were significantly lower among those who participated in guided art observation, compared to [the control group]. . . .
Using art to achieve design objectives
Findings also relevant in other situations
Jiang and colleagues have found, via a study using immersive virtual environment (IVE) techniques, that views of green spaces through windows can make it easier to move from one part of a building to another effectively and efficiently; their findings are readily applicable to non-healthcare space types. The team reports that “Participants’ wayfinding performances were interpreted using several indicators, including task completion, duration, walking distance, stop, sign-viewing, and route selection. . . .
Cui and teammates probed how the design of outdoor spaces at hospitals can influence staff stress levels. They found that “several [previously conducted] studies have revealed that even short-term exposure to outdoor space has a decompression effect. . . . [in the study conducted by the Cui lead group] EEG measurement equipment was utilized to obtain the value of β wave (vβw) that represents the stress and anxiety of staff in three different outdoor spaces: open, traffic, and rest. . . . The proportion of natural elements, such as landscape . . . and waterscape . . .