Dallas Children’s Hospital (in collaboration with HKS), Dallas, Texas
PI: Debajyoti Pati, PhD
This study was an empirical examination of the associations between positive distractions in hospital waiting areas and the waiting experience of patients, based on earlier studies that have demonstrated positive influence of positive distractions on patients undergoing treatment or procedure. Five distraction conditions were randomly introduced in the waiting area of the dental and cardiac clinics, and attention, behavior and activities of children while waiting were recorded. The parents of the children completed a questionnaire survey at the conclusion of their visit. Data on 158 pediatric patients and questionnaire responses from 75 accompanying adults were collected over twelve days of data collection during December, 2008, and January, 2009. Data analyses show that the introduction of distraction conditions was associated with higher calm behavior and less fine and gross movement, suggesting significant calming effects of the distraction conditions. Data also suggest that positive distraction conditions are attention grabbers. However, analysis showed that the association between positive distractions and behavior vary based on the subjects’ attributes (such as ethnic background, developmental/neurological state, and illness type). Correlation analysis of the children’s behavior data with parents’ responses on the questionnaire showed that a number of dimensions of the waiting experience were significantly correlated with children’s behavior and activities. In addition, waiting experience demonstrated significant correlations with perceived waiting time, the exam room experience, the perception regarding staff, the overall visit, and the overall experience.
Presented by Dr. Pati at National Association of Children’s Hospitals & Related Institutions Conference 2009
Published in Health Environments Research and Design–2011; Healthcare Design Magazine—March 2010