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Going to a Spa, or Chemo?
Close your eyes and imagine this...
Instead of walking into an intimidating hospital, gliding along stark white hallways with faulty florescent lights to get to your chemotherapy treatment, your treatment is administered in a spa-like building, with relaxing music, running waterfalls, nature sounds and even a large window with a view of the ocean. Do you think your body would respond better to treatment?
That's the theory put forth by advocates of evidenced-based design, a theory of interior design that argues that one's surroundings can affect the healing response and overall well-being. For patients dealing with a health diagnosis, this design difference could literally mean the difference between life and death.
Much anecdotal evidence has supported evidence-based design; patients are quick to say how comfortable and relaxing a room can make them feel. However, no large-scale clinical studies support the concept. In fact, some critics outright oppose the idea of evidence-based design because they argue it’s not a responsible way to spend healthcare money. Their argument is that in a country with spiraling healthcare costs, it might be wiser to use those funds for technology or equipment upgrades rather than pools and lush gardens.
We'd like to hear from you. If you're dealing with cancer, or any major health diagnosis, do you think you could recover better in relaxing, spacious rooms with waterfalls and other soothing elements, or would you prefer a traditional Western medical approach in a hospital? Is the money better spent this way or on newer technologies? [The Wall Street Journal]