According to several studies, patients who have access to a scenic view are likely to require less medication, lower stress levels and may heal faster.
Studies conducted in the United States and Sweden over the past three decades have evaluated healing gardens in rehabilitation and children’s hospitals, with positive results for patients.
A 1995 study in northern Californian hospitals found users mostly visited gardens seeking relaxation and restoration from mental and emotional fatigue. Tree-bordered vistas of fountains or other water features, along with lush, multilayered greenery of mature trees and flowering plants, appealed most.
A more recent study in 2016 at The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Queensland found that their onsite gardens (a lush rooftop tropical getaway) provided significant value to patients, parents and visitors by creating a safe and peaceful environment.
In a unique approach to understanding user experience, a series of visitors’ books were left on bench seats in the gardens over several weeks when the hospital first opened. The notes, poetry, letters and drawings clearly showed the space provided people a sense of peace and helped them to be positive during difficult times, assisting them to find new perspectives and things to be grateful for.
At Murdoch Hospital, the gardens include water features, waterfalls and lush greenery, along with several benches and chairs to stop and enjoy the view. With the Hospital opened in 1994, the gardens were specifically designed to be visible from every patient room. For those who are not afforded a view due to new development, there are scenic murals visible from each room.