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Physical and Social activity patterns in an acute neurological unit environment: an observational study

It is currently unknown what impact the physical environment has on neurological populations. Research in adult mental health and acute care populations suggest positive outcomes of the physical environment on patient and staff user groups. 

Aims

Does a new neurological physical environment provide more socialization and physical activity in an acute neurological population compared to an old physical environment?

To determine the feasibility of the exercise testing protocol and explore the best time window for intervention.

Design: Pre- /Post observational

Current status: Data collection ongoing

Site/s: Box Hill Hospital

Healthcare built environments frequently require re-design or renovation due to ageing of building infrastructure and demands for quality improvements. Studies show that patients with brain injury are more engaged in cognitive and social activities in enriched environments. However it is not known how important the physical or built environment i.e. including room type, ward configuration, access to social supports, daylight, access to outdoors is to providing more social and physical activity in neurological populations.

Observational study using a behavioural mapping technique over 1 day of 20 neurological patients pre- and 20 patients post- a neurological ward re-design. In addition a modified environmental checklist completed pre- and post- re-design 

References:

JANSSEN, H., ADA, L., BERNHARDT, J., MCELDUFF, P., POLLACK, M., NILSSON, M. & SPRATT, N. J. 2014. An enriched environment increases activity in stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation in a mixed rehabilitation unit: a pilot non-randomized controlled trial. Disabil Rehabil, 36, 255-62.

RAANAAS, R. K., PATIL, G. G. & HARTIG, T. 2011. Health benefits of a view of nature through the window: a quasi- experimental study of patients in a residential rehabilitation center. Clin Rehabil.

HUISMAN, E. R. C. M., MORALES, E., HOOF, J. V. & KORT, H. S. M. 2012. Healing environment: A review of the impact of physical environmental factors on users. Building and Environment, 58, 70-80.

DOUGLAS, C. H. & DOUGLAS, M. R. 2005. Patient-centred improvements in health-care built environments: perspectives and design indicators. Health Expectations, 8, 264-276.

ULRICH, R. S., SIMON, R. F., LOSITO, B. D., FIORITO, E., MILES, M. A. & ZELSON, M. 1991. Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 11, 201-230.

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