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Keywords:

  • aesthetic environment;
  • hospitals;
  • experts;
  • inter-views;
  • health

Scand J Caring Sci; 2011; 25; 134–142 The importance of aesthetic surroundings: a study interviewing experts within different aesthetic fields

The purpose of this article is to present and discuss the results from interviews of experts within various aesthetic fields. This study aimed to describe experts’ evaluation and wishes for aesthetics in hospitals. The scope is aesthetics in the hospital environment and surroundings. An underlying assumption was that the field of aesthetics is a neglected area in many hospital environments. The strength of the manuscript and what is new is the information concerning the expert, as patient, evaluation of aesthetics in hospital environment and surroundings and data on how the experts would prefer things to be. Methods: The basis is a corpus of 16 semi-structured individual qualitative interviews that were performed by the first author. The 16 informants were experts in different aesthetic fields. Results: The interviews revealed the following: (i) Aesthetics and design are practically absent in the Norwegian general hospitals. (ii) The aesthetic surroundings are very important for the health and well-being of the patients. (iii) The aesthetic area has many aspects. Guidelines are worked out based on the expert/patient focus, their wishes and recommendations and based on a conviction that certain objective, basic and general criteria do exist for basing an aesthetic environment on an innate and shared common sense.