Toward a Framework for Designing Person-Centered Mental Health Interiors for Veterans, Journal of Interior Design, DOI: 10.1111/joid.12095
The Veteran's Administration (VA), recognizing the potential influence that nurturing interior environments may have on patient well-being, has been designing and constructing mental health settings intended to calm, restore, and revive. Unfortunately, limited research investigates the links between the interior environment and mental health outcomes that can be used for guiding the design for these facilities. This paper seeks to provide a framework for designing person-centered mental health interiors that would be supportive of human factors for a healthcare organization's clinical and operational staff as well as Veterans. The framework is intended to assist healthcare providers in achieving mental health aims through thoughtful, evidence-based, person-centered design.
Based on a review of the literature and case study investigations of three VA acute inpatient mental health units in the United States, the framework is comprised of six domains: Involve, Protect, Engage, Comfort, Personalize, and Sustain. These domains, informed by existing credible research and best practices, were vetted through post-hoc analysis of qualitative data gathered from interviews, focus groups, and/or listening sessions conducted with the three sites. The resultant Framework for Designing Person-Centered Mental Health Interiors for Veterans, developed based on the data and methodologies used in conducting this study, is meant as a complementary resource for informing future research, planning, design, and operation of acute inpatient mental health spaces. The research team's aim was to develop an accessible set of evidence-based environmental planning considerations to aid in the prioritization and development of person-centered mental health environments.
Sheila J. Bosch, PhD, EDAC, LEED AP
Assistant Professor, Department of Interior Design
University of Florida
Dr. Sheila J. Bosch is an assistant professor in the Department of Interior Design at the University of Florida and an accomplished evidence-based design researcher. In 2014, she was named top researcher by Healthcare Design magazine's HCD10 awards for her significant contributions to healthcare design. Before coming to the University of Florida, Sheila served as the Director of Research for Gresham, Smith and Partners, an international architecture, engineering and interior design firm, where she supported planners and designers in enhancing quality, safety and efficiency in healthcare settings. At UF, Sheila continues to direct original, empirical research to advance our understanding of the role of the built environment in improving occupant well-being. Her healthcare design research focuses on a variety of healthcare settings, including behavioral health, neonatal intensive care units, emergency departments, patient-centered medical homes, and environments for older adults. Additionally, Sheila is interested in how the design of learning environments may improve teaching and learning outcomes. Sheila is a member of the Center for Health Design's Research Coalition and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for several peer-reviewed publications, including Health Environments Research and Design journal and the Journal of Interior Design.
Lisa Sundahl Platt, MS, CSSBB, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C
Lisa Sundahl Platt's firm is a Human Experience research and Innovation Management solution provider that works with US and International health, wellness, and continuing care organizations seeking to implement transformational change. Her expertise is in working with cross-functional quality and performance improvement teams to facilitate process optimization and to increase product and service delivery efficiency, safety, and outcome reliability. Lisa has served as a research primary investigator and authored several publications related to the impact of systems on human health and well-being. She holds a Masters of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and is nearing completion of her Doctorate in Systems Science with a Health Systems Engineering focus at SUNY Binghamton. Her research concentration is on Human Factors and Population Health systems resilience. She is an ASQ Certified Six-Sigma Black Belt expert in Lean and Statistical Process Control of healthcare service and product delivery processes. Her professional background includes over twenty-five years of tenure in the field of organizational strategy, human development, and environmental planning and sustainability management. She currently holds professional licenses with the States of Tennessee and Florida Boards for Architecture, Engineering and Design regulation, Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification with The Center for Health Design, and is a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional for Building Design and Construction.