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A Place to Heal: Environmental Sources of Satisfaction Among Hospital Patients

Study: Journal of Applied Social Psychology

A Place to Heal: Environmental Sources of Satisfaction Among Hospital Patients

Source: Journal of Applied Social Psychology

In June 2002, a group of scientists published the following article in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

“Although the hospital might not be a highly familiar setting in most people’s lives, clearly it is an important setting. Visits to the hospital might be infrequent and short in duration, but they are often punctuated by strong emotion. What role does the environment play in the hospital experience? In the present study, we identify sources of environmental satisfaction and dissatisfaction among hospital inpatients, and examine the relative contribution of environmental satisfaction to the overall hospital experience. Because patient evaluations may be tied to specific locations and type of care received we compare responses for patients’ hospital rooms and public areas outside of the room for four different types of departments (medical, obstetrics, orthopedics, and surgical) and for six different hospitals (from 101 beds to 520 beds).

Telephone interviews with 380 discharged inpatients were conducted to identify environmental sources of satisfaction with the hospital, to determine the relative contribution of environmental satisfaction to overall satisfaction with the hospital experience, and to explore differences in satisfaction across 4 departments (medical, obstetrics, orthopedics, and surgical) and 6 hospitals. Analyses indicate that interior design, architecture, housekeeping, privacy, and the ambient environment were all perceived as sources of satisfaction. Environmental satisfaction was a significant predictor of overall satisfaction, ranking below perceived quality of nursing and clinical care. There were no significant differences between hospitals or departments in the level or sources of environmental satisfaction. Results suggest potential directions for architects, designers, and health care providers.”

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