Using three spatial network measures of “space syntax”, this correlational study describes four interaction-related behaviors among three groups of users in relation to visibility and accessibility of spaces in four adult intensive care units (ICUs) of different size, geometry, and specialty. Systematic field observations of interaction-related behaviors show significant differences in spatial distribution of interaction-related behaviors in the ICUs. Despite differences in unit characteristics and interaction-related behaviors, the study finds that when nurses and physicians “interact while sitting” they prefer spaces that help maintain a high level of environmental awareness; that when nurses “walk” and “interact while walking” they avoid spaces with better global access and visibility; and that everyone in ICUs “walk” more in spaces with higher control over neighboring spaces. It is argued that such consistent behavioral patterns occur due to the structural similarities of spatial networks over and above the more general functional similarities of ICUs.
Rashid, Mahbub; Boyle, Diane K.; and Crosser, Michael (2014). "Network of Spaces and Interaction-Related Behaviors in Adult Intensive Care Units." Behavioral Sciences 4, 487-510.
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