Evaluating the Psychosocial Impact of Indoor Public Spaces in Complex Healthcare Settings

Giuseppe Lacanna, Cor Wagenaar, Tom Avermaete, Viren Swami

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    26 Downloads (Pure)


    Objective: This article describes an approach to a metrics-based evaluation of public space in hospitals using cross-disciplinary qualitative and quantitative analyses. The method, Indoor Public Space Measurement (IPSM), is well suited to researchers and designers who intend to evaluate user-centered spatial solutions in hospitals and similar facilities. Background: Healthcare is transiting toward a value-based policy at all levels. Choosing the right set of qualitative and quantitative analyses to support value-based design solutions is not always an easy journey for healthcare design consultants. This article seeks to pull together the key analyses to evaluate the impact of the hospital indoor public space on the psychosocial well-being of the hospital users. Method: A step-by step guide to performing key analyses to evaluate the impact of hospital indoor public space environment on the users’ psychosocial well-being is provided. A case study from the authors’ research is utilized to illustrate the application of the method. Results: Interpolating the results of all the analyses, the reader can identify where in the layout most of interactions among users occur, identify their typology and evaluate the contribution to the general psychosocial well-being, and know which group of users is more exposed to a specific typology of interaction. Conclusions: The IPSM method can help design consultants to measure the impact of the built environment of hospital public space on its occupants’ psychosocial well-being: factual knowledge about the users’ behavioral response with respect to wayfinding and social interaction. The application of the method is not limited to healthcare settings only.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages20
    JournalHERD: Health Environments Research and Design Journal
    Volume12 (2019)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Dec 2018


    • behavioral analysis
    • evidence-based design
    • healthcare design
    • healthcare service design
    • psychosocial
    • public space system design
    • spatial analysis
    • value-based healthcare

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