The mental and physical working context in which mental health‐care providers spend most of their day is an extremely stressful environment, specifically with regards to mental and physical well‐being. This environment is shaped by a number of influences such as job demands, patient related stresses and political and economic pressures. All of these factors may eventually result in high levels of staff burnout, decreased work efficacy and increased overall stress.
The primary objective of this study was to facilitate wellness enhancement amongst mental health‐care providers in a psychiatric hospital by manipulating the visual lived environment through the introduction of colour landscape photographs with an emphasis on physical positioning and content. However, this article interrogates specifically the photographic choices and response to them in the selected environment. A qualitative analysis focussed on positioning with written participant feedback, indicating that ‘the photos add new dimension and depth to the ward’ and ‘loved the photo’s in the passage by the entrance of the ward’.
A Likert scale survey questionnaire was used to assess feedback with regards content. A quantitative analysis of the survey results indicated an overall improved photographic image and placement perceptual preference within the lived environment. Measured experiences under the headings of ‘don’t like’, ‘acceptable’ and ‘like a lot’ have increased between the two installations for the following content categories: ‘veldt and trees’ +2%, ‘autumn’ +13% and ‘colourful flowers’ +4%. A ‘waterfalls’ category was introduced in the second installation with a ‘like’ score of 82%. The ‘leaves and autumn’ category remained the same, with ‘trees and desert’ scoring lower in the second iteration by 10% and 14% respectively.