THE ROLE OF ALTERED WINDOW VIEWS ON FEELINGS AND PREFERENCES OF PEDIATRIC PATIENTS AND PARENTS
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While research pertaining to hospitalized patients is available, the majority of the information pertains to preferences and opinions of adult patients. In regards to pediatric patients, most existing research is gathered from the opinions of the guardians or the pediatric floor nurses. In terms of total research, a small percentage of data is actually gathered from hospitalized children. Existing research has shown that children perceive the hospital environment as stressful, which can lead to negative physiological and psychological effects. Currently, there is a fair amount of research available exploring what specifically within the built environment causes the patient to feel stress and what can reduce the perceived stress of the patient, but mostly relating to adult patients. One design feature that has been shown to reduce the perceived patient stress and improve the overall hospital experience is positive distractions, which can include access to nature and art. The purpose of this study is to explore altered window views, feelings the altered views evoke, and preferences of the patients and parents. Decals featuring representational nature scenes were applied to windows of a local pediatric hospital to create the altered window view. Surveys were administered evaluating the preferences and opinions of both the patient and their parent. The rooms featuring the window decals were found to have a promote positive feelings for both the patients and the parents. A majority of the parents in the rooms with the decals believed that the decals had a positive influence on their feelings and their child's feelings, and almost all would prefer to have a room using decals again in the future. The patients in the rooms without the window decals appeared to have a less positive experience and appeared to only moderately like the view from their window, which were identical. Most of the parents in the rooms without decals did not believe that their child enjoyed the view from their patient room. This study should provide a greater understanding on ways that positive distractions, such as altered window views, can influence a patient's experience. The findings could lead to enhanced window views as well as future research to better understand the impact of the application of decals.