First Advisor

Margaret B. Neal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Hospice House (Portland, Or.), Hospices (Terminal care) -- Design and construction



Physical Description

2, vii, 184 leaves: ill. (some col.) 28 cm.


Improving the quality of remaining life for individuals who are terminally ill and their families is an issue that has become increasingly important in recent years. This issue has evolved from perceived deficiencies of conventional health care institutions in meeting the needs of people who are in the final stages of their life, when curative measures are no longer deemed appropriate. In response to deficiencies in care of the terminally ill and their families, there has been a movement toward humanizing conventional health care and making it more holistic. Hospice care, which is consistent with this movement, has evolved as an alternative to hospitals and nursing homes. The purpose (of this study was to investigate the physical environment (building and grounds) of a free-standing hospice facility to identify the features that would contribute to the design and renovation of other hospices and health care facilities that plan to adopt a hospice program of care. In this study, an attempt was made to examine how architectural factors combine in a hospice setting to meet the needs of the dying and their families and those who work in hospices. Specifically, this study used a qualitative, case study approach to describe and develop an understanding of the feelings and experiences of the users of a particular hospice facility concerning the physical environment of that facility. Post Occupancy Evaluation Methodology, which is a process to assess the performance of the built environment after it has been occupied for some time, was employed. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed three distinct environments within the facility to be of major importance to the users when discussing the physical surroundings. The three separate areas of importance were the grounds, the administrative offices, and the patient care unit. The findings of the study will be of use to designers, architects, and planners, as well as hospice advocates, as they will assist them in conceptualizing essential components of hospice design and in creating better hospice facilities in the future.


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