Keeping stressed people "on track"
Bae and Asojo evaluated the experiences of people in long-term care units. Residents of several LTC units were interviewed and data analyses indicated “the importance of perceived control, social support, and positive distraction in the environment. The most frequently mentioned interior environment that the residents liked was ‘window and view,’ followed by ‘pictures and photos’ and ‘TV,’ while they wanted ‘bigger room and space,’ followed by ‘improved privacy’ and ‘more options for food.’”
Positive spaces for all
Sunder shares thought-provoking insights that will be valuable to any one designing patient rooms, particularly semi-private ones. As sales materials on the book’s Amazon site report, “The patient room is the smallest cell of the hospital organism. Its layout determines the structure of the ward and is therefore a decisive factor for the entire building. Many requirements have to be met. The patient's sense of well-being can be positively influenced by the design: homely materials, an attractive view and sufficient privacy are important objectives.
Shepley, Kolakowski, Ziebarth, and Valenzuela-Mendoza assessed how the COVID-19 pandemic will influence the design health, hospitality, and senior care environments. They share that “An extensive literature review was conducted, the results of which were distributed to a group of experts . . . specializing in health, hospitality and design. After receiving their input, expert focus groups were conducted. . . . Healthcare facilities will require additional space, access to the outdoors, service hubs, and flexibility in garage and use of outdoor space.
Features fostering friendliness
Healthcare design-related research continues at a brisk pace. Some significant recent findings are applicable at healthcare facilities as well as in other contexts.
Noble and Devlin studied patient experiences in psychotherapy waiting rooms. They found via an online survey that “waiting rooms that were welcoming and comfortable as well as large and spacious rated higher for the quality of care and comfort in the environment anticipated by the participant; those that were cramped and crowded rated lower.”
Wichrowski and research partners investigated how nature imagery influences rehabilitation patient experiences. They share that “In settings where patients have high degrees of medical acuity and infection control is a major concern, exposure to the benefits of real nature may be precluded. . . . In these settings, the presence of nature imagery may provide benefits which positively impact patient experience. . . .
Gola and teammates studied how 20-30 minutes of contact with nature influences wellbeing. They learned that “The Scientific Community . . . has already demonstrated the importance of greenery and nature on the psychophysical well-being of people and, in a moment of emergency, contact with the nature can be therapeutic and quite influential on the mental health of staff subject to stress.During the lockdown, an Italian multidisciplinary working group promoted an experience-based survey . . .for measuring the psychophysical well-being of hospital staff.. .