Perceived Importance of Wellness Features at a Cancer Center: Patient and Staff Perspectives

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Abstract

Objectives:

Determine the relative impact of 11 building wellness features on preference and on the ability to deliver/receive quality care for two groups: patients and caregivers.

Background:

The impact of building features that promote wellness is of increasing interest to the building owners, designers, and occupants.

Methods:

This study performed a postoccupancy evaluation of two user groups at a healthcare facility with specific wellness features. Seventy-six staff and 62 patients of a cancer center were polled separately to determine their preferences in 11 categories.

Results:

Results showed that all wellness features were viewed favorably by the two groups, with natural lighting, views of nature, and thermal comfort as top categories for both. The t-test comparisons were performed, and significant differences (p < .05) between the two groups were found for three of the features (views of nature, art and murals, and indoor plants). Discussion of these differences and the interaction of competing design goals (thermal comfort, views of nature, natural light, and desire for privacy) are included.

Conclusions:

Designers and owners will want to consider the preferred use of roof gardens, art and murals, and indoor plants for patient spaces, where their relative value is greater. Access to private and quiet spaces is the top need for caregivers. Ease of movement, thermal comfort, and natural light were top needs for patients.

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