Ellen Vincent, PhD, environmental landscape specialist, Clemson University, and Dina Battisto, PhD, Architecture + Health, Clemson University, shared an interesting view of the research they’ve conducted on how nature images may prove to be positive distractions for people in stressful situations during their session at HEALTHCARE DESIGN.10.

The session, “Natural Images—The Effects of Patients Undergoing Surgery,” revealed how first experiment participants, and then later patients, were exposed to varying nature images prior to being put in stressful situations.

During the initial testing, it was found that nature images that combined a mix of refuge (imagery that communicates a place to hide in a potentially dangerous situation) and prospect (imagery that offers a view into the distance) yielded the lowest pain responses among the images presented.

As what might be expected, hazard images (such as a view of a forest fire) had the highest total disturbance level and the lowest occurrences of positive mood responses.

The study was continued in the hospital setting with surgery patients. Results will be analyzed in coming weeks, so anticipate the results to be shared by the Clemson team at a later date.