The Role of Daylighting in Skilled Nursing Short-Term Rehabilitation Facilities

Arsalan Gharaveis, Mardelle Mc Cuskey Shepley, Kristi Gaines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the best placement of windows in short-term rehabilitation facilities in terms of daylighting and outdoor views by exploring the impact of windows on resident perception of stress, mood, activities, and satisfaction. Background: The physiological and psychological benefits of daylighting have made it an increasingly important topic in multidisciplinary research. Although multiple studies have been written about the impact of daylight on physiological responses, few investigations have been made into the nonvisual effects related to resident mood, satisfaction, and stress level. In addition, researchers typically propose recommendations for quantitative aspects of illuminance, rather than addressing the behavioural outcomes. Methods: A combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies were used to address the research questions. Thirty-four participants, who were living temporarily in the inpatient rehabilitation units of two skilled nursing facilities, were subjects in semistructured interviews and a 7-question 5-scale survey. While residents expressed the need to have direct visual access to the outdoors, they indicated that daylight was of even higher benefit. Additionally, they noted that size and location of windows impacted their stress levels, moods, and activities. More than half of the facility residents reported changing their postures for either better outdoor views or less light disturbance while sleeping. Conclusions: The results of this study emphasize the importance of daylighting for residents in rehabilitation units. Architects should acknowledge the role of daylighting and window views in the design of rehabilitation facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Environments Research and Design Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • daylighting
  • mood
  • satisfaction
  • stress
  • view outside
  • windows


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