Preferences and satisfaction with social comfort of outpatient workers in six hospitals before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AnneMarie Eijkelenboom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

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A PhD study was carried out on comfort and health of workers in outpatient areas because hospital workers are generally less satisfied with comfort than patients and outpatient areas were understudied. To better understand differences in preferences and satisfaction of individuals, profiles were produced with Two-Step Cluster analysis, based on a questionnaire, responded by 556 outpatient workers, and building inspection of six hospital locations. Thereafter, interviews were performed to explain the preferences. As the COVID-19 pandemic started after production of the profiles, changes due to de pandemic were included. A gap between preferences and satisfaction was identified for all profiles. Also, those with similar preferences for social comfort (privacy, interaction, distraction) performed similar activities. Contact with others was for all profiles important, while satisfaction was overall high before the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the shift to digital care during the COVID-19 pandemic, impoverished interaction was a main concern of the outpatient workers. In conclusion the profiles for social comfort show that preferences for social comfort are associated with work-related aspects and can change. The profiles may open a new horizon to accommodate for flexibility and variety beyond standardized solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalThe Evolving Scholar
Publication statusPublished - 2024
EventARCH22 - 5th Architecture Research Care and Health Conference: Enabling Health, Care and Well-Being Through Design Research - TU Delft/Erasmus MC, Delft/Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 22 Aug 202224 Aug 2022


  • social comfort
  • hospital staff
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • preferences
  • section 1c


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