Investigating the impact of purposefully designed therapeutic landscapes in hospitals for the benefits of patients, their families, staff and hospital budgets

The human relationship with the natural world is deeply ingrained in our being because of our evolutionary history, and is intrinsically linked to human health and wellbeing. Technical advancements and lifestyle changes have led to a rapid increase in lifestyle diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and loneliness. This unfolding health crisis is compounded by the deterioration of our natural environment, exacerbated by the overexploitation of natural resources, environmental pollution and unsustainable management practices.
A holistic approach to health and wellbeing and urgent action is called for to address this crisis that impact both humans and the environment. Only when significant amounts of nature are incorporated in hospitals can there be significant positive health synergies for people, the environment and hospital budgets.
The absence of a framework to create these therapeutic landscapes in hospitals has led to an uncoordinated and largely experimental approach, and often unsatisfactory outcomes.
This research therefore aims to establish how to co-create a therapeutic landscape framework, used by decision makers, designers and hospital administrators so as to improve patient health, staff satisfaction, budget health and environmental health.
Human-centred and socio-ecological design theories combined with unsolicited patient feedback using ground-breaking ‘bench diaries’ and semi-structured interviews with patients, designers, decision makers and managers will inform the co-creation of the therapeutic landscape framework.
Contributing toward a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, the co-created seminal therapeutic landscape framework (CSTLF) will normalise healthcare in hospitals by improving patient recovery rates and satisfaction, boosting staff productivity, saving significant amounts of money in hospital budgets and improving environmental conditions. This CSTLF has the potential to mitigate the human and environmental health crisis by affecting the direction of healthcare, changing the way we design hospitals, influencing the design of cities and the way we live and look to the future.
Keywords
Holistic health and wellbeing | therapeutic landscapes | hospitals |health & nature | co-create | design | leadership


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