Abstract and Keywords
This chapter addresses the influence of design dimensions on users’ responses in health care environments. The need of a user-centered design based on rigorous empirical evidence is outlined, so that health care services can take full advantage of the environment as an important contributor for the therapeutic processes. Accordingly, we advocate the shift to more humanized health care places by relying on evidence-based design. A theoretical framework based on the multi-place approach is presented to provide a conceptual lens for better investigating the multifaceted nature of hospitals, which include different spaces, physical features, functions, environmental roles (patients, caregivers, visitors), behaviors, and representations. Current research trends witness a growing interest toward this topic, though, despite the increased number of studies, there is yet need of rigorous and systematic research proving the importance of health care design aspects on people’s well-being. Finally, future directions for research are suggested.
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