Department of Psychology, University of Payam-e-noor, P.O.BOX 19395-4697, Tehran, Iran
Medical environments such as hospital waiting rooms can affect a client’s anxiety level as well as psychological and physiological responses to his or her situation. The aim of this research was to evaluate the use of environmental design, specifically the design which incorporates elements of nature, in clinics and hospitals to decrease anxiety, blood pressure and pulse rates of waiting clients. Representations of nature and the natural environment are known to recover a dynamic union between an environment and its user, therefore the effects of environmental design on subjects’ responses are measured and analyzed. In order to examine these hypotheses a sample of 145 people were chosen as subjects for the experiment. They were divided into control and experiment groups, both of which included males and females. The designed environment was applied for the experiment group which included elements of nature, green plants, sounds of waterfall and birds. Both control and experiment groups were pre tested and then post tested. The findings showed that being in the designed hospital’s waiting room was clearly effective at decreasing a client’s level of anxiety (p< 0.001), blood pressure (p< 0.001) and pulse rate (0.001). We propose that using an environmental design for medical treatment centers can reduce levels of anxiety in clients and can effectively foster a sense of wellbeing.