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Type: Thesis
Title: The adolescent’s hospital experience: preferences for environmental design.
Author: Norton-Westwood, Deborah Lee
Issue Date: 2014
School/Discipline: School of Translational Health Science
Abstract: Aim The principle aim of this study is to examine what key aspects of the hospital built environment contribute to either a positive or negative hospital experience for the adolescent population. Background Research to date has demonstrated that adolescents in respect to Healthcare are an underserved population. In recent years with new construction and the renovation of existing healthcare facilities, attention is now being directed to the healthcare environment as a result of its’ ability to impact patient care outcomes and patient and family satisfaction. However, adolescents pose a unique demographic due to: 1) Transition of Care 2) rapidly evolving stages of development and life changes and 3) the cost vs. benefit ratio in that adolescents represent a small demographic in comparison to the overall paediatric and adult population. Appreciating, understanding and highlighting the needs of adolescents in respect to the physical environmental will assist in the design of age appropriate healthcare environments that generate healthcare benefits for this dynamic age group. Method Utilising a qualitative interpretive approach informed by Heidegger’s Hermeneutic Phenomenology,(1) a convenience sample of twelve adolescents aged 12-19 years of age living in Doha, Qatar were interviewed via open ended questions following a minimum of three days in hospital. Field notes were taken immediately after each interview with interview transcripts transcribed verbatim into narrative text via the Joanna Briggs Institute Thematic Analysis Programme (JBI-TAP). Aided by van Manen’s six steps of thematic analysis common themes were identified. Results Four main themes were identified: • The importance of physically engaging and stimulating environments that are age appropriate; • The desire for privacy and personalisation of space; • The importance of sustaining opportunities for family engagement within the hospital environment; and • The world of connectivity- the sense of normality amidst chaos. Conclusions The findings are congruent with previous research that support the overall benefits of dedicated adolescent units and age appropriate environments. The adolescent perspective rarely acknowledged in unit design needs to foster a culture of community and openness where adolescents can feel safe to articulate their physical, cognitive and psychosocial needs.
Advisor: Pearson, Alan
Robertson-Malt, Suzanne
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Translational Health Science, 2014
Keywords: phenomenology; experience; Hospital design; environment; space; adolescent; adolescent wards; patients
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