Design indicators for better accommodation environments in hospitals: inpatients’ perceptions

2012-06-06T14:57:39Z (GMT) by Yisong Zhao Monjur Mourshed
Several studies have found an association between the physical environment and human health and wellbeing that resulted in the postulation of the idea of evidence-based and patient-centred design of healthcare facilities. The key challenge is that most of the underpinning research for the evidence base is context specific, the use of which in building design is complex, mainly because of the difficulties associated with the disaggregation of findings from the context. On the other hand, integrating patients’ perspectives requires an understanding of the relative importance of design indicators, which the existing evidence base lacks to a large extent. This research was aimed at overcoming these limitations by investigating users’ perception of the importance of key design indicators in enhancing their accommodation environments in hospitals. A 19-item structured questionnaire was used to gather inpatients' views on a 5-point scale, in two Chinese hospitals. A principal component analysis (PCA) resulted in five constructed dimensions with appropriate reliability and validity (Cronbach’s alpha=0.888). The item, design for cleanliness, was ranked as most important, closely followed by environmental and safety design indicators. The item, entertainment facilities, was ranked lowest. The indicator, pleasant exterior view had the second lowest mean score, followed by the item, ability to customise the space. Age, accommodation type and previous experience of hospitalisation accounted for statistically significant differences in perceptions of importance of various constructed design dimensions.