Interior Environments in Long-Term Care Units From the Theory of Supportive Design

Suyeon Bae, Abimbola O. Asojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aim: This study was designed to examine how residents in long-term care (LTC) units perceive their living environment based on the theory of supportive design. Background: Healthcare environments may cause a significant level of stress mainly due to patients’ lack of familiarity with such environments and patients’ poor health conditions. According to the theory, the healthcare environments providing a sense of control, social support, and positive distraction can promote wellness. This study was designed to learn how LTC residents perceive their current living environments. Method: This study collected data through qualitative interviews. A total of 48 residents living in two LTC units were asked the three interior environments they liked and they wanted to improve. Only the residents who lived in the current space for 1 month and communicate without any cognitive disabilities were able to participate. Most residents were female and lived in a private room. Results: The participants’ responses indicated the importance of perceived control, social support, and positive distraction in the environment. The most frequently mentioned interior environment that the residents liked was “window and view,” followed by “pictures and photos” and “TV,” while they wanted “bigger room and space,” followed by “improved privacy” and “more options for food.” In addition to the three elements, the participants considered other elements as important for them which can benefit the participants. Conclusion: More studies must be carried out to expand the theory, so that it can be applied to future studies with inclusive perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-247
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Environments Research and Design Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • healthcare environment
  • long-term care units
  • perceived control
  • positive distraction
  • social support
  • theory of supportive design

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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