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Garden as restorative environment for children in Malaysia Hospital Setting

Said, Ismail (2006) Garden as restorative environment for children in Malaysia Hospital Setting. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty Built Environment.

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Hospitalisation often causes stress to children. As a result the children react regressively, experiencing symptoms such as excessive fear, anxiety, boredom, increased clinging to and dependence on parents, and recluse. However, participating in garden activities, either in passive or active mode, reduces the stress. As a result the children behave progressively such as being relaxed, feeling comfort and calm, being cheerful and fascinated, cooperative towards medication, more active and decreased social withdrawal. In childhood healthcare, the change from regressive behaviours to progressive ones is considered as restoration. This is because there is positive shift of cognitive, physical and social functioning, from low in the hospital ward to higher level in the garden. This study investigates the restorative effects of a hospital garden on middle childhood paediatric patients (n=31) at the children's ward of Batu Pahat Hospital in Malaysia. Data of the children behavioural responses are elicited using a research study design called observational study with paired data; comparing the differences of the children's functioning between the ward and the garden. The data are gathered from three sources, patients, mothers and ward's staff using three methods, behavioural mapping, interviews, and questionnaires. The data are analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. The results suggest that there is a positive shift in functioning when the children experienced the garden. Cognitively, the children shifted their functioning from being boredom, fearful, anxiety and restlessness in the ward to being relaxed, comfort and calm, cheerful and forgetting worries in the garden. Physically, the shift is from being passive and sedentary in the ward to being active; participating in the garden activities. And, socially, the shift is noticeable from being alone or recluse in the ward to being playing with peers and cooperative with the caregivers in medical protocols. The shift is attained because the garden offered the children 4.7 times more positive affordances and two times less negative affordances than the ward. The study concludes that the properties and attributes of the garden afforded the children to function progressively leading to their well-being.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:children; healthcare; restorative environment; cognitive functioning
Subjects:R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions:Built Environment
ID Code:1596
Deposited By: Azura Baharudin
Deposited On:12 Mar 2007 07:53
Last Modified:14 Feb 2011 11:46

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