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Research article2006Peer reviewed

Outdoor environments at three nursing homes: Focus Group Interviews with staff

Bengtsson, Anna; Carlsson, Gunilla


This study investigated how the outdoor environments at nursing homes for older persons were experienced and used to gain knowledge with implications for design. Focus group methodology was used to explore staff’s view of how the residents experienced and used the outdoors. Two main themes and ten sub-themes were the result when the focus group interviews were analyzed. Theme one, being comfortable in the outdoor environment, describe the residents’ special needs to be able to and dare to use the outdoors. The theme suggests a precautionary design, which promotes security and safety and protects from disturbance and negative impressions. The second main theme, access to surrounding life, describes the residents’ needs for change and variety in the everyday situation and suggests an inspiring design, which promotes stimulation of senses and mind and provides positive impressions.


Elderly; older; outdoor environment; health design; universal design; landscape planning

Published in

Journal of Housing for the Elderly
2006, Volume: 19, number: 3, pages: 49-69

      SLU Authors

    • Bengtsson, Anna

      • Department of Landscape Planning Alnarp, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Associated SLU-program

    Nature experiences and health

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)