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Insights & Solutions

    December 2023 Slidecast

    Talebzadeh, A., Decoutere, I., Vander Mynsbrugge, T., Botteldooren, D., Devos, P., Aletta, F., Van de Velde, D., & De Vriendt, P. (2023). The influence of everyday acoustic environments on the challenging behavior in dementia: A participatory observation study in nursing homes. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


    In order to overcome some of the challenging behaviors for persons with dementia, there is a need to understand how sonic environments contribute to behavioral reactions. The goal of this study was to identify the environmental and situational condition in relation to behavioral incidents. Thematic evaluation of antecedents, behaviors, and consequences resulted in four acoustic patient personas based upon a person’s capacity to interpret sounds and their capacity to react to them. There is both the opportunity to identify the most supportive sonic environments as well as develop supportive soundscapes based on the four personas that emerged from this study.

    November 2023 Slidecast

    Machry, H., Joseph, A., White, R., & Allison, D. (2023). Designing for family engagement in neonatal ICUs: How is the interior design of single-family rooms supporting family behaviors, from passive to active? HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal


    While family members are involved in care for all types of patients, they often have an especially active caregiving role in the NICU. As the trend in NICU design has moved to primarily single-family rooms, it is important to understand how this environment and specific aspects of these rooms influence the process of Family Engagement. Findings from this study highlight the importance of the physical environment to support family engagement behaviors.

    November 2023 Slidecast

    Hauge, Å. L., Lindheim, M. Ø., Røtting, K., Johnsen, S. Å. K., (2023) The meaning of the physical environment in child and adolescent therapy: A qualitative study of the outdoor care retreat. Ecopsychology

    The experience of hospitalization can be extremely stressful, frightening, and even traumatic, especially for children. Children who are chronically ill and staying in the hospital frequently or for extended periods of time will often benefit from psychological therapy as part of their treatment plan. However, in many cases, especially with very sick children, the therapy takes place in the same physical environment where children are receiving care for somatic illnesses. This study focused on the impact of a nature-based “outdoor care retreat” cabin on therapy for chronically ill children staying in the hospital. Researchers found that participants tended to explain their experience in relation to their previous experience in the traditional hospital setting, emphasizing the benefits of the outdoor care retreat. In the hospital, sick children are patients. But taking a break from that space may allow them to be their full human selves again, even briefly.

    November 2023 Slidecast

    Gharaveis, A., Hamilton, D. K., Pati, D., Shepley, M. M., Rodiek, S., McCall, D., (2023) How Visibility May Reduce Security Issues in Community Hospitals’ Emergency Departments, HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal

    Given that volatile situations can occur in emergency departments (EDs), it is important to ensure that staff maintain awareness of unit activities and security resources so safety risks can be prevented or at least controlled. In this study, researchers used both observations and interviews to better understand the role of ED layout on staff perceptions of safety and security and overall awareness of departmental activities. While the optimal ED design is yet to be determined, findings from this study suggest that maximizing visual connectivity between ED staff, a centralized unit layout, and staff visibility of the ED entrance, waiting room, triage area, and areas in which psychiatric patients receive care can improve ED efficiency and reduce security risks.

    August 2023 Webinar

    Join this webinar’s distinguished, multi-disciplinary team as they share design strategies, the latest developments of the care model, and an early look at how this new model is working. Attendees will identify how this approach may be replicable to advance better mental health care in other arenas.

    Member Project
    July 2023 Member Project

    The 130-year-old Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Somerville Campus is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School (HMS) north of Boston offering urgent care, primary care, women’s health, and inpatient psychiatry services for children and youth.

    When it embarked on a significant renovation of two floors to make them more suitable for behavioral health treatments, project architect Lavallee Brensinger Architects brought in Unicel Architectural to help upgrade the facility’s legacy window system. Unicel Architectural was contracted to furnish nearly 40 window units, including spandrel panels and its award-winning, AAMA 501.8 certified Vision Control for Behavioral Health for exterior and interior applications.

    Product / Project Innovation Highlights
    June 2023 Product / Project Innovation Highlights

    Swiftstop Anti-Barricade Doorset with Full-Door Ligature Alarm is the safest doorset in Behavioral Health. In an emergency, this world-leading doorset alerts staff and provides access to a patient’s room in two seconds.

    EBD Journal Club
    May 2023 EBD Journal Club

    Taylor, A. Murakami, M., Kim, S., Chu R., Riek, L.D.  Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction. Vol. 6, Issue CSCW2, Article No.: 442pp 1–40. https://doi.org/10.1145/3555543.

    May 2023 Workshop

    This one-day virtual workshop provides the latest in design thinking for a variety of behavioral health care and health settings and offers state-of-the-art best practices through thought leader presentations, case studies, and panel discussions. Attendees will have opportunities to pose questions to workshop faculty and interact with fellow attendees in fun and innovative ways.

    April 2023 Webinar

    This webinar will examine caregiver wellbeing in the context of the challenges and drivers creating this condition, and discuss criteria and design solutions that lead to improved staff satisfaction, easier staff recruitment and retention, and ultimately better patient outcomes.  Case study examples will highlight these challenges and solutions!