The ward environment has, for a long time, been recognised as an important element in inpatient care and several studies have shown that it is related to patient satisfaction. Ordered environments with high levels of support seem to be associated with higher levels of patient satisfaction, especially for the most severely-impaired service users. However, little is known about how ward environment affects the outcome of people's treatment. A study of eighty service users at three different wards, carried out by researchers in Norway, found that differences in ward atmosphere were associated with differences in patient satisfaction but that there was only 'mixed' evidence that it was linked to patient outcomes (i.e. whether they got better or not). No links were found between ward atmosphere and self-efficacy (the feeling that one can deal with one's problems oneself) or life satisfaction.
Jorgensen, K. N., Romma, V. and Rundmo, T. - Associations between ward atmosphere, patient satisfaction and outcome Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing March 2009, 16(2), 113-120