Designing to heal: the role of architecture in promoting healing in the long-term care setting

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Hospitals first appeared at the start of the Christian era to shelter sickor weary travelers and persons too poor or ill to be treatedat home, yet their dirty, crowded and dark environmentwere anything but hospitable. The change from this tothe present day hospitals has been metamorphic.(Shi, L., & Singh, D, 2001). Hospitals are complex buildings containing many departments of different specializations where diagnostic or therapeutic activities take place, while other administrative, ancillary, or service units sustain, and support main functions, to compliment the health care process. While healthcare functional aspects following the same medical trends have the same influence on hospital architecture all through the world, yet, cultural aspects form a dominant deviant influence in each country according to its different cultural trends following habits and traditions. Although sustaining patients’ comfort is a universal demand, its application might warrant different methods. This thesis therefore describes in detail the status and perspective of Ghanaian healthcare facilities with an analysis of emerging trends of healthcare facilities, the impacts hospital architecture has on patients and staff with an overall aim of improving design efficiency in healthcare facilities and improving patient and staff comfort healthcare facilities. The study was carried out on a random sample of hospitals operating under government jurisdictions. Sample size was roughly restricted to the two main teaching hospitals in Ghana; Korle-Bu and Komfo Anokye and the Sunyani Regional Hospital. The material itself consisted of pictorial and technical data, as obtained from the archives of said institutions. Plan types of these institutions were examined and analysed with respect to functional classification of spaces constructed.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Architecture presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the(Master of Architecture Degree Programme), 2007