Peditto, K., Shepley, M., Sachs, N., Mendle, J., & Burrow, A. (2020). Inadequacy and impact of facility design for adolescents and young adults with cancer. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 69, in press.
Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer often find they must seek treatment in pediatric facilities designed for much younger patients. Peditto and colleagues developed a questionnaire asking AYA cancer survivors to assess the built environment in terms of both importance and effectiveness. The results showed significant differences between what participants rated as important in cancer facilities– and what was rated as effective. The authors provide recommendations for facilitating desired social support in the AYA oncology environment, especially in the in-between-spaces that blur public and private use. They describe the importance of having choice and control as it relates to privacy, and having spaces that allow for informal social connection when AYA patients want it, with the option of private spaces (i.e. private patient rooms) when they don’t.