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Healthcare providers' perception of design factors related to physical environments in hospitals

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-06-21, 11:43 authored by Monjur Mourshed, Yisong Zhao
Research indicates that staff wellbeing, productivity and satisfaction are linked with a hospital’s physical environment, in particular the aspects that are determined during early design stages of a building’s lifecycle. Incorporating healthcare providers’ perspectives during the design of a facility is, therefore, essential to create an effective therapeutic environment. Past research on physical environments in hospitals focused mostly on user satisfaction and was linked with service delivery in a specific setting. Research findings seldom provided useful insights into user perspectives on design related aspects that had the potential to affect their interaction with the environment. This research was aimed at filling this gap by exploring healthcare providers’ perception of physical environment design factors in hospitals. A 16-item questionnaire was used to gather perspectives of nurses, doctors and administrative staff in two Chinese hospitals, with a response rate of 77.3% (N = 304). Descriptive, principal component analysis and statistical tests were applied on the responses to investigate the relationship between perceptions of design factors and demographic and work related variables. Three principal components were identified, namely spatial, maintenance and environmental design. The identified components had good correspondence with previous research on behavioral and environmental psychology. Female healthcare providers were found to be more perceptive about factors related to sensory environments such as visual, acoustic and olfactory, compared to their male counterparts. The working pattern and length of service had associations with perceptions of maintenance and environmental design factors. Respondents ranked abstract and more subjective design factors such as aesthetics and the presence of coordinated art objects lower than the factors generally associated with the safe and efficient delivery of service.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


MOURSHED, M. and ZHAO, Y. (2012). Healthcare providers' perception of design factors related to physical environments in hospitals. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32(4), pp. 362 - 370.


© Elsevier


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This article was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology [© Elsevier]. The definitive version is available at:


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