EVALUATING A CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL GARDEN ENVIRONMENT: UTILIZATION AND CONSUMER SATISFACTION
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The Leichtag Family Healing Garden at Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego was planned and built as a healing environment space for patients, families, and staff. A Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) was conducted to determine whether the garden was meeting the goals of reducing stress, restoring hope and energy, and increasing consumer satisfaction. Results from behavioral observations, surveys, and interviews indicated a number of benefits of the garden. The garden was perceived as a place of restoration and healing, and use was accompanied by increased consumer satisfaction. However, the garden was not utilized as often or as effectively as intended. Children, parents and many staff members recommended changes for the garden, such as the inclusion of more trees and greenery, and more interactive 'things for kids to do'. In addition, the majority of family members surveyed throughout the hospital did not know about the garden. Based on the findings, recommendations for changes were developed to promote better use of the garden. These research findings can be used to guide the future planning, design, building, and subsequent evaluation of garden environments in children's hospitals and pediatric settings. © 2001 Academic Press.
author list (cited authors)
WHITEHOUSE, S., VARNI, J. W., SEID, M., COOPER-MARCUS, C., ENSBERG, M. J., JACOBS, J. R., & MEHLENBECK, R. S.