Health benefits from wood interiors in hospitalsForest Products Society 65th International ConventionAnders Q. NyrudNorwegian Institute of Wood TechnolohyTina BringslimarkNorwegian University of Life SciencesNorsk Treteknisk Institutt, www.treteknisk.no
Introduction Finland SwedenWood is: Canada Austria• A natural building material Norway USA Chile• Used in many cultures Germany Australia UK Spain The NederlandsResearch project: France Italy Beneficial effects of Japan Malaysia interior wood use Brazil Russia South Africa China India 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 cubic metrers/capita Apparent consumption of sawn wood and wood based panels, 2005
BackgroundPsychological Effects of Wood Used in the Indoor Settings• Beneficial psychological effects
How does nature and natureelements affect us? Nature • Wilderness, natural landscapes, parks, gardens • Elements of nature in built settings, window views to nature Beneficial effect • Stress-reduction • More positive feelings • Faster mental recovery • Decline in subjective feelings of pain
Preferences: What we likemay be good for us• Preference studies represent an early empirical approach to the study of the human-nature relationship.• Many of these studies assumed that what people like in environments reflect on conditions important for health and well- being.• In general people prefer natural settings over urban settings, and settings with some elements of nature are preferred over settings without nature elements.
Three studiesFocus groups• How do people view building materials and perceive indoor environments?Web-survey• Preferences for wood in patient roomsMaterial use in hospitals• How elements of nature affect patients
Focus GroupsTopic: Building materials and the experience of indoor environment• Focus group analysis (structured discussion within a group of people)• Commonly used in sociology and marketing• Testing of concepts, experiences and attitudes• Conducted in cooperation with Statistics Norway
Results• Variation and contrasts in material perceived as positive• Material combinations should ensure variety (complexity), and constitute a whole• Desire to personalize the indoor environment• Durability, hygeiene• Non-Scandinavians were overwhelmed by the use of wood: Different opinions on where wood can be used
Web-survey• 10 data-manipulated pictures of a patient room with different degrees of wood on a continuum from no wood to all wood.• The pictures where shown in a random fashion
Measures• 12 adjectives describing the room: Pleasant, Nice, Boring, Pure Style, Airy, Masculine, Expensive, Modern, Ordinary, Natural, Calming and Secure.• Three preference questions: • ”I like the interior in this patient room” • ”The interior is well suited for a patient room” • ”I would like to work in this room”
Preferences for different degrees of wood inpatient rooms Rated as most • Pleasant • Nice • Natural • Calming • Secure Rated as least • Boring The most preferred room M=4.16 , SD=1.85 13
Preferences for different degrees of wood inpatient rooms Rated as most: • Boring • Ordinary Rated as least • Expensive The second least preferred room M=3.20*, SD=1.93 *Significant P < .001 14
Preferences for different degrees of wood inpatient rooms Rated as most: • Masculine • Expensive Rated as least: • Pleasant • Nice • Modern • Ordinary • Natural The least preferred room • Calming M=2.67*, SD=1.81 • Secure *Significant P < .001 15
Results• Hospital employees prefer patient rooms with an intermediate level of wood• The traditional patient room with no inclusion of wood was the second least preferred• The patient room with wood on all the walls, floor, ceiling and furniture was the least preferred room• Building materials can be used to design a hospital room with an intermediate level of complexity
Nature elements in hospitals• Study conducted in a Norwegian hospital• Participants: orthopaedic patients (N=197)• Outcome measures • length of hospitalization • use of painkillers • blood pressure • subjective feelings of pain and stress • emotions before and after operation • subjective evaluation of room
Three room interiors1. Painting/print2. Nature3. Wood+ window
ResultsNo significant differencesbetween the rooms
ResultsWhat does the results imply?• Wood vs. nature vs. art vs. vindow viewThe external generalizability:• Does nature or elements of nature have health benefits for all people, at all times, in all settings?The construct validity:• How do we measure nature or nature exposure?
ConclusionsFocus groups• Variation/contrasts in materials is important• Materials should fit the environment/contextWeb survey• Preference for intermediate use of woodPatient rooms• No significant differences for the different rooms (or window views) on the outcome measures
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