How building features impact veterans with PTSD



How building features impact veterans with PTSD
Farzan Sasangohar and Carolina Rodriguez-Paras, authors of the research, work collectively within the lab. Credit: Texas A&M Engineering

The constructed atmosphere, the place somebody lives (personal) or works (public), influences an individual’s every day life and will help, or hinder, their psychological well being. This is very true for these with psychological well being situations corresponding to PTSD, or post-traumatic stress dysfunction.

Researchers within the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University are working to find out which components of constructed environments have an effect on veterans with PTSD essentially the most, and the way they are often altered to assist veterans thrive.

“We have already established collaborations with support groups to develop veteran-centered tools for monitoring and self-management of PTSD,” mentioned Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, assistant professor and principal investigator of the undertaking. “Through interactions with hundreds of veterans diagnosed with PTSD, we realized the need to also investigate the context in which these tools are used and became interested in the design of built environments.”

The researchers checked out three themes: architectural design features, inside design features and ambient features. As a part of the undertaking, researchers interviewed veterans with PTSD about their triggers in private and non-private areas. From their interviews, the researchers categorized and offered solutions for every theme space that would offer the best optimistic impact for veterans.

“Alarmingly, we learned there is a general gap in built environments’ design guidelines for mental health habitants in general, and PTSD patients in particular, so we leveraged our wide network of veterans to study their preferences,” Sasangohar mentioned.

Architectural design features

Architectural design features are everlasting features of a building or that may be tough or costly to vary after building is accomplished, like the doorway and exit places.

In the research, veterans recognized six areas that made a distinction towards their consolation:

  • Windows—giant home windows situated nearer to the bottom made veterans really feel safer in an area. They additionally most well-liked to have a number of home windows in an area so they might see what was occurring exterior.
  • Entrance and exit location—veterans preferred to simply see the doorway and exit to a room or building. This helped maintain them from feeling trapped in an area.
  • Walkways/hallways—bigger hallways that allowed for elevated maneuverability and diminished the possibility of touching different folks have been most well-liked by veterans.
  • Open flooring plans—open areas allowed veterans to see their environment and offered them with emotions of safety. Sharp turns and blind corners prompted stress because of the incapacity to see what was across the bend.
  • Green area—open areas with vegetation made the veterans really feel calmer and gave them extra visibility

Interior design features

Interior design features are elements of a constructed atmosphere which might be simpler to vary and could possibly be accommodated in areas which might be already constructed. Veterans most well-liked areas with fewer items of furnishings and partitions that have been painted in brighter, extra vivid colours as a substitute of muted colours.

Ambient design features

Ambient design features are the best features to vary in an area and embrace lighting and air high quality. Overall, veterans most well-liked pure mild. Some mentioned that poor mild, together with an excessive amount of synthetic lighting, may set off stress. Air and sound high quality was vital additionally, together with air flow, odor and noise ranges. Many veterans mentioned that sure odors may set off concern or unhealthy recollections and that loud, surprising noises have been notably startling for them. They felt that soundproofing was vital in areas they visited or lived in.

What could be carried out?

While this analysis addressed an vital hole in analysis and follow, the analysis group recognized the necessity for extra work to know points associated to the design of constructed environments for these with PTSD. Further analysis ought to embrace a variety of stakeholders together with veterans, Veterans Affairs, structure and housing regulatory our bodies.

“We hope that this research contributes to the curriculum, codes and standards, regulatory documents, and general practice of designing built environments, including health care facilities, which are sensitive to the needs of veterans who are affected by PTSD and others with conditions,” Sasangohar mentioned.

Study highlights risk of mental health disorders in male ex-serving personnel

More data:
Joseph Nuamah et al, Veteran-Centered Investigation of Architectural and Space Design Considerations for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal (2020). DOI: 10.1177/1937586720925554

How building features impact veterans with PTSD (2020, August 11)
retrieved 11 August 2020

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