Abstract

In general, for health care centers it is vital to know the kind and the intensity of emotions felt by its patients and how to influence their quality of life and their response to therapies. In particular, waiting areas in which patients spend a lot of time without significant interactions is an important focus of this study. Recent studies suggest that a quality in fact and in perception is two significant parts, which affect and play a powerful role in an overall satisfaction in health care. The aim of this study is to understand how to increase positive and decrease negative emotions by a re-design of waiting areas inside health care centers where patients spend a considerable amount of time without any significant interactions. To measure the quality of satisfaction felt by patients inside of such an environment we refer to their emotions that we model basing on Affective Neuroscience. According to Panksepp, we have a categorized and unambiguous number of emotions, precisely defined from a neuroscientific and physiologic point of view: SEEKING, PLAY, CARE, FEAR, GRIEF, RAGE and LUST. We collect Kansei words and structure them with these emotions. We perform 600 surveys on 200 patients in 4 different waiting areas found in 2 hospitals to reveal differences in perceptions. We conduct experiments and our results lead us to several considerations about how to design desirable emotional characteristics of a waiting area.

Discussion

This study applied Kansei Engineering (KE) type I to design a waiting area (WA) for two hospitals in Milan, Italy. The majority of participants used in our study are being diagnosed with cancer. The results of this study were qualified by using factor analysis of user’s perception of the WA. KE type I was used because it was compatible with available resources. Our study shows that the WA1 is the best sample of Positive emotion according to color, furniture layout and materials, whereas WAs 2 and 3 have more negative emotions. It is also notable that a WA1 resembles a private room with a warm color (decorations, paintings and sculptures) where the texture of furniture is warm and friendly. Patients prefer warm colors instead of bright colors (Devlin, Arneil 2003). Based on our on-field observation, people generally sit next to each other and enjoy by sharing their feelings during the waiting time in WA1. We also observed that people in WA1 had a more expressed feeling of respect. Our study suggests that using artworks in WA can stimulate PLAY. Textures and warm colors can provide satisfaction by provoking CARE. It is also obvious that a furniture layout can enhance more SEEKING in this WA. According to our findings, Was 2 and 3 included negative signals among the participants that could be attributed to cold colors and the usage of metal for furniture as well as by the dispersion of furniture. This implies that these two remaining WAs together with other characteristics reported in literature are being in general more negative. Therefore, by understanding increased positive feedbacks in WA1 against findings in literature review we have a potential candidate for PLAY/CARE WA. Comparing an ideal environment with the results of our research study underpins how it is possible to decrease negative and increase positive emotions in a WA. Our future step is to perform a validity test as well as to propose a concrete design model. After completing comparison with other cases which used KE method, we figured out negative elements of WAs besides positive ones which can be used to decrease the impact of negative emotions and increase positive ones in designing the new environment. A recent study conducted by Ebru Ayas, Jorgen Eklund and Shigekazu Ishihara (Ayas, 2008) used KE method to design WA. They applied CA (Correspondence Analysis) and X2 independency tests analyses in SPSS and Rough Set (RS) method to extract decision rules between Kansei in ROSE software. They used interviews in their survey with closed questions. Obviously, this method is not a usual method for designing the environment but it seems possible to propose a new approach in KE type I in Design Environment.