Perceptions of hospital patients and staff, a tool to inform the design of healing gardens
The benefits of hospital healing gardens are well-documented, however, they require careful design to meet the full potential of their designed purpose. Three main groups of hospital users are identified; patients, staff and visitors. Patients and staff constitute the primary users of hospitals in both long-term and short stay medical cases. Each hospital needs to be addressed individually to identify the particular needs of its patients and staff. A questionnaire survey investigating the perceptions of a hospital's patients and staff on the design of its green space could be used as a tool to inform the design of a healing garden with an aim to address more holistically the particular needs of the hospital. In this study a questionnaire survey investigating the perceptions of both patients and staff of a private hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece was used as a tool to inform the design of a healing garden for the particular hospital. Results showed that the majority of the patients visit the hospital grounds during morning and noon hours (43.9 and 30.3%, respectively) for 15-30' (42.4%), while the staff visit during noon and early evening hours (35.5% and 29.0%, respectively) for maximum 15' (64.5%). The majority of the staff (68.0%) wanted a staff only seating area. The majority of the medical staff (98.0%) allow patients to participate in mild outdoor activities such as, walking, gardening and light exercise. Most patients (64.0%) wanted to do gardening if their medical condition allowed it; they also wanted the presence of colour (36.2%) and pergolas or kiosks (35.0%) in the hospital grounds. With regards to the planting, patients showed a preference for the qualitative characteristics of plants such as scent while the staff showed a preference for plants that provided shade. Following, a healing garden was proposed that addressed the particular needs of the hospital studied.
Paraskevopoulou, A.T., Papadopoulou, Α., Kantartzis, Α. and Papadopoulou, Α. (2020). Perceptions of hospital patients and staff, a tool to inform the design of healing gardens. Acta Hortic. 1279, 23-28
questionnaire survey, patient outdoor activities, plant characteristics, planting, holistic approach