The importance of creating places of respite in Saudi Arabia hospitals



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Places of respite have been found to contribute to improving medical care by providing pain relief and improving overall psychological well-being in patients. Places of respite can also help address the manpower shortage crisis in Saudi Arabian healthcare institutions by alleviating stress to improve the performance of the medical staff. However, despite the benefits of building places of respite, Saudi Arabian cultural and social needs must still be considered. The purpose of this study was to identify the important aspects of places of respite in terms of cultural and social values and sustainability as perceived by healthcare professionals. This study was conducted based on the Triple Bottom Line Model Theory (Slaper, 2011), the person-environment fit theory (Holland, 1997), and the biophilia theory (Simaika & Samways, 2009). To address the purpose of the study, a sequential mixed-methods study was conducted by conducting qualitative interviews with 10 nurses and 8 doctors and administering a survey to 98 participants recruited from hospitals with and without places of respite. The qualitative data was analyzed, resulting in three major themes and nine minor themes. The themes indicated that spaces that made patients and practitioners comfortable were important, and that the design of places of respite must remind participants of their religion, particularly with regard to the separation of males and females. The results of the quantitative data analysis identified mosques/masjeds, staff break areas, and cafeterias as important design aspects with regard to space planning. Aspects of the Saudi Arabian religion and culture were also reflected in the responses of the participants with regard to the importance of privacy, separation of men and women, and the presence of elements of Saudi geography. It was also determined that the mean scores ascribed by participants who worked in hospitals with no places of respite were higher than the mean scores of the participants who worked in hospitals with places of respite.



Respite, Saudi Arabia, Healthcare, Allah, Healing Environment, Horticultural Therapy, Therapeutic Environment, Biophilia, Culture, Muslim Privacy