Healthy Aging Research

Healthy Aging Research
Open Access

ISSN: 2261-7434


Dignified care for older people: Mixed methods evaluation of the impact of the hospital environment – single rooms or multi-bedded wards

Vicki Bevan, Chris Edwards, Ken Woodhouse, Inderpal Singh

Background: New hospital design policies favour single rooms over traditional multi-bedded wards for greater privacy, personalised care and infection control. This study compared patients’ perspectives on the provision of dignified care and their level of satisfaction in two different hospital environments: one with 100% single rooms, and one with multi-bedded wards.

Methods: This study employed mixed methods comparison using a semi-structured interview consisting of 14 questions to assess patients’ perspectives on dignified care and level of satisfaction across two sites: Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr (YYF), a hospital with 100% single rooms, and the Royal Gwent Hospital (RGH), which has multibedded wards. Both are under the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB). Twenty-five patients from each hospital took part in the study. Inclusion criteria were: patient age of 65 years and over, admitted to hospital with an acute medical illness, but recovering and able to give informed consent.

Results: Dignity was better maintained in single rooms. In addition, more patients in single rooms reported receiving a high level of care (100%), compared to those in multi-bedded wards (84%).

Conclusions: Single rooms proved more favourable than multi-bedded wards in this study. However, since a higher incidence of in-patient falls are reported in single rooms, further research is needed to ensure patient safety and excellent quality of care in such a setting.