Outdoors and Therapy

West Park Partners with UK-Based Researcher Dr. Cláudia C. Andrade to Design Patient Experience with Outdoor Rehabilitation Therapy Scale

Outdoor therapy
West Park therapists and patients often hold therapy sessions on West Park grounds

February 2019 - (Toronto) — West Park Healthcare Centre is collaborating with Dr. Cláudia C. Andrade in the development of an innovative scale to measure the patient experience with outdoor rehabilitative therapy. The proprietary tool, stemming from West Park’s current Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) Connection to Nature green space study, is the first of its kind in the area of outdoor rehabilitation, and aims to capture how the natural outdoor environment may act as an enabler to improve the patient’s therapeutic experience.

Currently entitled the Patient Experience with Outdoor Rehabilitation Therapy scale, the comprehensive tool is designed primarily for use by clinicians and healthcare researchers to capture patients’ assessments of therapy in the outdoor space, and addresses a current gap in healthcare. The study on the development of the scale will also measure patient experiences and the benefits of rehabilitative treatment indoors and outdoors. 

As a provider of specialized rehabilitative care perched on 27 acres of expansive parkland, West Park is uniquely and fittingly equipped to create and test an outdoor rehabilitation measurement tool.

Scale development is being led by West Park’s Research & Innovation department, in alliance with Dr. C. Andrade. She is co-creator of the Perceived Hospital Environment Quality Indicators (PHEQIs) scale, a key element of the West Park Connection to Nature study, and the Supportive Hospital Environment Design scale (SHEDS). Cláudia is an expert in the evaluation of healthcare outcomes, as they relate to physical environments. 

The Patient Experience with Outdoor Rehabilitation Therapy scale is being created for use by the global healthcare community. Those interested in learning more about the scale are invited to contact Tim Pauley, Manager, Research & Innovation at West Park Healthcare Centre at tim.pauley@westpark.org

About Dr. Cláudia C. Andrade

Dr. Cláudia C. AndradeClaudia’s research interests are mainly concerned with how physical environments affect health and well-being outcomes, and with the patients' perceptions of the quality of healthcare. She obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology by Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL) with a thesis focusing on the design of hospital environments. Cláudia conducted the validation study of the Perceived Hospital Environment Quality Indicators (PHEQIs) scale (Andrade, Lima, Fornara & Bonaiuto, 2012), and is the co-creator of the Supportive Hospital Environment Design scale (SHEDS) (Andrade & Devlin, 2015). She is an Associate Ph.D. Member of CIS-IUL (Lisbon University Institute, ISCTE-IUL) and is currently based in London working at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as Intelligence and Performance Manager for Health, Adults and Community.

About the Connection to Nature Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) Study

POE iconThe Connection to Nature study is the first of six research studies being conducted as part of West Park Healthcare Centre’s Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) project. Before and after the new West Park hospital is built, the study will evaluate how West Park green/outdoor space supports the well-being of staff, patients and their families, and how it may affect rehabilitation goals.