Mapping interior environment and integrated health systems research using the psychoneuroimmunological (PNI) model
Suresh, Mini (2007) Mapping interior environment and integrated health systems research using the psychoneuroimmunological (PNI) model. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.
This study maps research concerning person environment interrelationships with
health and wellbeing outcomes. The purpose of this study is to provide insights into
the inter-relationship between the built environment (BE) and human health and
wellbeing as it is conveyed in research literature. It particularly focuses on literature
that connects built environment, emotions, feelings, mind and body. This thesis
therefore provides a review of relevant literature on the physical environment, with a
focus on person environment (PE) relationship that may influence the person's
psychological and physiological systems consequently affecting health and
wellbeing. Specifically, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is used to identify
dimensions of the BE which are significant for this study.
The understanding of PE interrelationships to health outcomes is achieved by
undertaking a transdisciplinary outlook. To conceptualise the 'person' as a whole and
the workings of the mind and human system PNI has been recognised as a main
platform. PNI is the study of mind-body relationships (Evans, et al, 2000), providing
a scientific framework which captures the understanding of the inter-relationship of
the mind to the neuroendocrine systems and the immune systems with the aim of
understanding the influence of the mind on eliciting as well as preventing illnesses.
The work was motivated by the need for better understanding of the human
interaction/transaction in an interior environment and their consequences on health.
An exploration of literature from both the environmental and health fields provided a
knowledge base upon which to develop an understanding of the interrelationship.
Research has demonstrated a link between the BE and wellbeing, however, this is
limited in its application and/or scope. For example, over the past years there has
been an increasing amount of research showing the possible influence of the
environment in reducing stress (Sommer & Oslen, 1980; Kaplan, 1983; O'Neill,
1991; Wapner & Demick, 2000; Parsons & Tassinary, 2002, Frumkin, 2006). In
addition, there is growing evidence that indicates there is a relationship between BE
and health including the psychological and physiological systems, in healthcare
environments (Ulrich & Zimring, 2004). However, while there is ample research in
the areas of environmental stressors and other determinants of the environment in contributing to health, less research has been undertaken in studying the impact of
the environment on health (Evans& McCoy, 1998). The potential of the environment
in contributing to the mental wellbeing of a person and how this could affect the
physical health therefore needs further investigation (Solomon, 1996).
The methodology followed was Coopers (1998) 'research synthesis' and the tool to
sort the domains and PE interrelationships was adapted from White's (1989) 'space
adjacency analysis'. The scope of this study was limited to explorations of literature
that inquired into PE relationships that fit into the primarily established 'integrative
systems model'; a parameter that enabled categorisation of the literature into the
areas that related to the PNI framework.
The findings illustrate that the person is interrelated to the environment in several
ways and can be interpreted and explained in terms of various dimensions such as
the psychological, physical, social, and spatial dimensions. Furthermore,
empirical research indicates that the environment impacts on a person's health and
wellbeing through psychological and physiological systems. PNI
acknowledges the interrelationship of the mind and body systems contributing to an
integrative systems model of human health and wellbeing.
As an outcome, the study has produced an analysis method and a navigation map of
the various literature domains related to PE interrelationships in terms of health and
wellbeing. This has been facilitated by the development of, a 'PE integrative systems
model'. Apart from demonstrating the need for transdisciplinary research and
contributing to research methodology, the study also adds to the current design
knowledge base providing BE professionals and creators with a better understanding
of the health outcomes from PE interrelationships.
Impact and interest:
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|Item Type:||QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)|
|Supervisor:||Franz, Jill & Smith, Dianne|
|Keywords:||interior environment, built environment, physical environment, design, psychoneuroimmunology, health and wellbeing, mental wellbeing, physiological wellbeing, integrative systems, person environment interrelationship, space, place|
|Divisions:||Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
|Department:||Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering|
|Institution:||Queensland University of Technology|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright Mini Suresh|
|Deposited On:||03 Dec 2008 04:03|
|Last Modified:||28 Oct 2011 19:47|
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