First results of self-reported health and comfort of staff in outpatient areas of hospitals in the Netherlands

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It is well known that the demand on hospital staff is increasing and that their comfort and health may be affected negatively by dose and building-related aspects. Comfort and health may differ between hospital departments. However, outpatient areas are understudied. To better understand comfort and health of staff in outpatient areas a survey was performed in which social comfort, personal and work-related aspects were all accounted for. This study aimed to identify comfort and health in relation to different room types. Of the 1694 invitations that were sent to outpatient staff of six buildings, 566 respondents (33%) were included in the analysis. There was little difference in the prevalence of the main self-reported symptoms, dry eyes and headache, and indoor air complaints, whereas acoustical, visual, thermal and social comfort differed statistically significantly between those working in different room types. Compared to other (inpatient) hospital and office studies, the prevalence of symptoms and dissatisfaction with comfort was high, especially dissatisfaction with daylight. Considering the dynamic use of workplaces in outpatient areas and the high ERI, this study reinforces the necessity for inclusion of personal and work-related characteristics in studies on comfort and health of occupants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106871
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Health and comfort
  • Hospitals' staff
  • Outpatients areas
  • Room type
  • Survey


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