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Healthcare Centre: A Study on Users' Preferences in a Healing Outdoor Environment

Part 1 Dissertation 2011
Farhana Mohammed Isa
University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The healing outdoor environment is known for its restorative and curing ability in reducing stress through implementation of landscape design elements for people with special needs. Planning is essential for long term care, assisted living, hospitals, clinics and health centres to improve health and wellness of mind, body and spirit through the integrated design of indoor and outdoor spaces. The purpose of the research is to study the user preferences towards healing environment. Improving and enhancing the elements of healing environment (herbs or therapeutic garden) to harness and develop the so-called stress reduction properties (SRP). The objective of this study includes increasing understanding on how user’s (patients, staffs and visitors) preferences and experiences the healing environment of hospital, to identify the salient attributes of the physical environment to their experiences specifically in rehabilitation and traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) unit. Rehabilitation ward is a designated unit in hospital that includes plants, animals, and minerals, spiritual and traditional techniques to improve well-being in outdoor environment. The research was conducted through the non-participant observation, behaviour mapping and structured interview at the setting of the herb and healing garden of the rehabilitation wards to analyze its effectiveness in healthcare centre. This research seems to suggest that healing environment gives a positive impact to its user in healthcare centre in Malaysia. Clearly, these results suggest a necessity in changing the design approach that able to improve or enhance curing ability using therapeutic landscape design elements in healthcare centre.
Farhana Mohammed Isa

Hazreena Hussein
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