Distress, anxiety, boredom, and their relation to the interior spaces under COVID-19 lockdowns
Emerald Publishing Limited
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Purpose – This research is based on the idea that interior elements leave a wide variety of impressions on their occupants and that some interiors are likely to have more positive impressions than others. These impressions are especially prevalent when an individual cannot leave their homes for extended periods. The architectural elements of an interior where people are isolated can mitigate the adverse psychological effects. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted by surveying individuals under lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 140 participants completed three different scales (GAD-7, K10, FTB Scale) to measure mental health problems often experienced in isolated and confined environments. Their responses were then associated with the interior environments of the participants. Findings – Statistically significant relationships were identified between the reported interiors and the results of the psychological evaluations. The level of psychological distress was associated with Volume and Visual Variety factors. Susceptibility to generalized anxiety disorder was associated with Visual Variety and Airiness factors. Finally, free time boredom was associated with Volume, Visual Variety, and Airiness factors. The Furniture and Clutter factor did not significantly contribute to any of the psychological evaluations. Originality/value –The study was performed in response to the severe lockdown measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It successfully highlighted the need for a rethinking of interior design approaches regarding the design for isolated and confined environments.