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Title: The end-user perception of healthcare waiting environment designs
Author: Vuong, Kieu Anh
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 6010
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Waiting environments often represent the first interaction point of the healthcare journey and as such contribute to end-user overall experience. The design of these spaces should therefore make the experience as positive as possible. The body of evidence about the relationship between healthcare built-environments and end-user outcomes has grown rapidly in recent years. However, as opposed to inpatient and longterm care, few studies have focused on the design of outpatient settings and their waiting environments. In order to improve the waiting experience, it is necessary to understand how end-users perceive the design of the healthcare waiting environments. This research therefore aims to understand how end-users in the United Kingdom perceive the design of outpatient healthcare waiting environments (OHCWEs). A mixed methods research consisting of quantitative and qualitative techniques was developed to address key research objectives in four studies. In Study 1, end-user perceptions were explored through 24 photo-elicitation interviews. Content analysis of the data revealed that end-users described their perception of the design of OHCWEs using design descriptors and/or emotional, cognitive and associative terms. This contributed to the understanding of the content and language that participants used to describe the design. In Study 2a, 66 participants rated images on semantic differential scales. Using Principal Component Analysis, the level of pleasantness and typical healthcare appearance were extracted as two end-user main perceptions. As these two perceptions were found uncorrelated, a direct causal effect relationship between them could not be assumed. This challenged existing knowledge suggesting a positive effect on end-users related to untypical healthcare appearance. In Study 2b, learning from the review of the literature and from the studies 1 and 2a were consolidated to form a theoretical foundation for the research design of Study 3 to assess design attributes. In Study 3, participants (N=116) evaluated seven design attributes and their sub-attributes on perceived level of pleasantness using photo-realistic renderings which were specifically created. Conjoint Analysis revealed that wooden flooring, an open reception area, upholstered, single chairs that are arranged in rows, clear signage and additional features e.g. indoor plants or refreshment facilities were perceived most pleasant. The quantifiable measures about the contribution of each design attribute to perceived level of pleasantness extend existing knowledge in evidence-based design and hence represent conceptual contributions. In addition to the conceptual contributions, this research also contributes to the practical and methodological development of evidence-based design. The methodological framework provides a novel way of measuring end-user perceptions of the design in OHCWEs. The developed method allowed a more complete view on end-user insights which would not have been possible using traditional, pure methods. Additional learning about the design enabled the formulation of practical design recommendations to improve end-user perceptions of OHCWEs. Being able to assess the pleasantness of healthcare environments has the potential to improve the well-being of end-users.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General)