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EBD Journal Club: Restorative Design Features for Hospital Staff Break Areas: A Multi-Method Study


Evidence-Based Design (EBD) Journal Clubs are free, open to all and provide one EDAC/AIA CEU.  These sessions provide opportunities to interact with authors who have recently published EBD papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals such as HERD and lear as they share ways to put their research into practice. (1 Continuing Education Unit)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
10:00-11:00 am Pacific

Article Information: 
Restorative Design Features for Hospital Staff Break Areas: A Multi-Method Study.  From Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 9(2), 16-35.

Author: Adeleh Nejati, PhD, Assoc. AIA, EDAC

Host: Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC

Objectives: The study investigated the main restorative components of staff break areas in healthcare facilities, by assessing usage patterns, verbal/visual preferences, and perceived restorative qualities of specific design features found in break areas for hospital staff.

Background: Nurses are extremely important to the healthcare industry, and maintaining the quality of nursing care is a central concern for healthcare administrators. While healthcare leaders are concerned about improving nurses’ satisfaction, performance, and job retention, they may overlook the importance of respite for nurses and underestimate the value of designing staff break areas to maximize their restorative potential.

Methods: A multi-method approach combined qualitative explorations (focused interviews and narrative survey questions) with quantitative measurements (discrete survey questions and a visual ranking of break-room spaces), and the results were compared and triangulated.

Results: It was found that staff break areas are more likely to be used if they are in close proximity to nurses’ work areas, if they have complete privacy from patients and families, and if they provide opportunities for individual privacy as well as socialization with coworkers. Having physical access to private outdoor spaces (e.g., balconies or porches) was shown to have significantly greater perceived restorative potential, in comparison with window views, artwork, or indoor plants.

Conclusions: The results of this empirical study support the conclusion that improvements in the restorative quality of break areas may significantly improve nurses’ satisfaction and stress reduction, potentially leading to improved care for the patients they serve.

Adeleh Nejati, PhD, Assoc. AIA, EDAC

Design Researcher, HKS

Dr. Adeleh Nejati is a recent Ph.D. graduate from the Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University. She did her doctoral dissertation on “Restorative Design Features for Hospital Staff Break Areas” which was recently awarded as the Best Ph.D. Research Project by the International Academy for Design and Health. She has also received the Joel Polsky Academic Achievement Award from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for her outstanding doctoral dissertation on design and wellbeing. After three consecutive summer internships, Adeleh has recently joined HKS Architects and CADRE as a full-time Design Researcher to focus on integrating research into practice of healthcare architecture.

Click here for more information and registration

April 20, 2016
Class Frequency:
EBD Journal Club