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In preparation for the design, construction, and postoccupancy evaluation of a new Children's Convalescent Hospital, focus groups were conducted and measurement instruments were developed to quantify and characterize parent and staff satisfaction with the built environment of the existing pediatric health care facility, a 30-year-old, 59-bed, long-term, skilled nursing facility dedicated to the care of medically fragile children with complex chronic conditions. The measurement instruments were designed in close collaboration with parents, staff, and senior management involved with the existing and planned facility. The objectives of the study were to develop pediatric measurement instruments that measured the following: (1) parent and staff satisfaction with the built environment of the existing pediatric health care facility, (2) parent satisfaction with the health care services provided to their child, and (3) staff satisfaction with their coworker relationships. The newly developed Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory(TM) scales demonstrated internal consistency reliability (average [alpha] = 0.92 parent report, 0.93 staff report) and initial construct validity. As anticipated, parents and staff were not satisfied with the existing facility, providing detailed qualitative and quantitative data input to the design of the planned facility and a baseline for postoccupancy evaluation of the new facility. Consistent with the a priori hypotheses, higher parent satisfaction with the built environment structure and aesthetics was associated with higher parent satisfaction with health care services (r = .54, p < .01; r = .59, p < .01, respectively). Higher staff satisfaction with the built environment structure and aesthetics was associated with higher coworker relationship satisfaction (r = .53; p < .001; r = .51; p < .01, respectively). The implications of the findings for the architectural design and evaluation of pediatric health care facilities are discussed.

(C) 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.