Affective Engineering Design of Waiting Areas in Swedish Health Centers

Ebru Alikalfa
Division of Quality and Human Systems Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Jörgen Eklund
Division of Quality and Human Systems Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Mattias Elg
Division of Quality and Human Systems Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

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Ingår i: 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 26:46, s.

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Publicerad: 2008-02-15


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


How can the psychological experience of waiting in a service system (e.g. health care) be described? Schweizer (2003) makes a description of how the person who waits sees objects – and in them himself; like a piece of sugar melting in a glass of water; like a patient etherized upon a table. It has been argued that managing the psychological experience of a customer’s waiting experience by reducing the perceived waiting time can be as effective as reducing the wait time itself (Katz; Larson; & Larson; 1991). As said by Levitt (in Maister (1985)); products are consumed and services are experienced. Health service providers must give attention not only to the objective; reality of waiting times; but also how that wait is experienced. Maister (1985) also made a proposition of “laws” concerning the psychology of waiting. The variables representing these laws are given as italic (1) Distraction: Unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time.(2) Moment: Pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits.(3) Anxiety: Anxiety makes waits seem longer.(4) Uncertainty: Uncertain waits are longer than certain waits.(5) Explanation: Unexplained waits are longer than explained waits.(6) Fairness: Unfair waits are longer than fair waits.(7) Value: The more valuable the service; the longer the customer will wait.(8) Solo wait: Solo waits feel longer than group waits.

The influence of environmental design (Blumberg & Devlin; 2006) and the patients’ psychological and physiological needs in waiting areas are growing concerns among health care providers; environmental psychologists; consultants; and architects. Waiting areas as serviscapes (Bitner; 1992) are physical environments in which a part of the healthcare services are delivered; perceived and where the health personnel and patients interact. Waiting environments with their objects; design; layout and events occur in a healthcare facility are coded on patients’ minds with affective qualities and service qualities. Thus; objects in those environments should be described in psychological rather than objective terms. In this study we present a framework model for Kansei Value Creation (KVC) in a serviscape by enabling customers and personnel to generate their own affective models by stating their feelings and identifying different needs for them.


Service system; Kansei Value Creation; waiting room; Rough Sets Snalysis; design


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