A Framework for Designing Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Facilities: A New Approach Using Interdisciplinary Value-Focused Thinking
Ruby Lipson-Smith, BA, BSc (Hons), Leonid Churilov, BSc (Hons), PhD, Clare Newton, BArch, GCUT, Doctor of Education, Heidi Zeeman, BBehSc (Hons), MClinPsych (Neuro), PhD, and Julie Bernhardt, BAppSci (Physio), PhD
Aim: To use Value-Focused Thinking to investigate what is important in the design of inpatient stroke rehabilitation facility buildings. Background: Many stroke patients require inpatient rehabilitation in a
dedicated facility. Rehabilitation facilities are healthcare spaces, but they are also learning spaces where patients practice targeted tasks to acquire new skills and to reacquire skills and abilities that were
compromised as a result of their stroke. There is currently no consensus regarding how the design of inpatient rehabilitation facilities could be optimized for patients’ learning.
Method: We used ValueFocused Thinking to develop a framework of what interdisciplinary experts consider important for inpatient stroke rehabilitation facility design. Two workshops were conducted. The following experts
were invited to participate: past patients with experience of stroke rehabilitation; stroke rehabilitation clinicians; stroke rehabilitation academics; healthcare environments academics; learning environments
academics; architects, designers, and wayfinders with experience designing healthcare or learning environments; and healthcare design policy makers.
Results: Thirty experts participated. The experts’ final framework included 16 criteria that were considered fundamentally important for inpatient stroke rehabilitation facility design, and 14 criteria that were considered instrumentally important. Inpatient stroke rehabilitation facility design should maximize efficiency, maximize effectiveness (i.e.,patients’ clinical and functional outcomes), foster emotional well-being, and maximize safety. Opportunities to practice physical, cognitive, and social activity were considered important for patients’ outcomes.
Conclusions: Value-Focused Thinking was an effective and equitable means of engaging experts from multiple disciplines. Designers, planners, and developers of inpatient stroke rehabilitation facilities should consider the rehabilitation-specific framework developed in this study alongside evidence from other healthcare settings.