Architecture and mental disorders: A systematic study of peer-reviewed literature

Date
2020
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Source Title
Health Environments Research and Design Journal
Print ISSN
1937-5867
Electronic ISSN
2167-5112
Publisher
Sage Publications
Volume
14
Issue
10
Pages
320 - 330
Language
English
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Abstract

Objectives: To perform a systematic study about the contribution of architecture and interior design researchers in studying the effect of physical environment on mental disorders. Background: Mental disorders are a major health problem worldwide and related to severe distress, functional disabilities, and heavy economical burdens. Studies propose that physical environment design can trigger or reduce mental disorder symptoms. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the extent of architectural design research contribution to all types of mental disorder prevention or intervention. Methods: A team of cross-disciplinary researchers gathered information from peer-reviewed manuscripts about the effect of architectural design on enhancing or reducing mental disorder symptoms. Data were collected from manuscripts published between 2008 and 2020 (research related to the topic became clearer in quality and quantity then). Keywords including architecture, interior design, physical environment, and mental disorders were used in the systematic search. Databases were collected using online resources. Numerical data collected from quantitative studies were organized in tables. Results: Our data showed that there were a lot of studies about dementia and autism; few studies about schizophrenia, anxiety, stress-related disorders, and depressive disorders; and no studies about the rest of the mental disorders. General environment followed by housing facility design were the most assessed physical environments for mental disorders. Conclusions: As all mental disorders can have a significant impact on the society, we conclude that architectural studies should focus more on improving or preventing the symptoms of all types of mental disorders through the design of physical environments.

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