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Hotel-like hospital rooms’ impact on patient well-being and willingness to pay: An examination using the theory of supportive design

Courtney Suess (Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Makarand Amrish Mody (School of Hospitality Administration, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 11 October 2018

Issue publication date: 31 October 2018

903

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to examine how features that foster a sense of control, create positive distractions and provide access to social support influence patients’ well-being and, subsequently, their likelihood to choose hotel-like hospital rooms and their willingness to pay higher out-of-pocket expenses for such rooms. While there is increasing evidence to suggest the importance of the provision of hospitality in healthcare settings, research on these developments remains under-represented, particularly in the hospitality literature. In response, the present study builds on Ulrich’s (1991) theory of supportive design to examine patient responses to hotel-like features in a hospital room.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from a survey of 406 patients, the authors used structural equation modeling to test the model.

Findings

Consistent with supportive design principles, the infusion of hotel-like features that foster a sense of control for patients, create positive distractions and provide access to social support was found to positively impact patients’ physical and mental well-being, which, in turn, increased their likelihood to choose a hospital room with hotel-like features and their willingness to pay for such rooms.

Practical Implications

Findings attest to the need for healthcare providers to make the necessary investment in hotel-like features and to leverage the communicative power of these environmental cues. Social support in the form of hospitality-trained and certified healthcare staff was found to be the most important hotel-like feature, which also presents significant commercial opportunities for hospitality companies and professionals.

Originality Value

The study represents one of the first attempts to empirically develop a structured model to examine the infusion of hospitality into healthcare. It provides researchers with a theoretically supported framework for future inquiry into the domain. It also makes a significant contribution to advancing the research on patient well-being in healthcare settings and demonstrates the importance of hospitality to such endeavors.

Keywords

Citation

Suess, C. and Mody, M.A. (2018), "Hotel-like hospital rooms’ impact on patient well-being and willingness to pay: An examination using the theory of supportive design", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 30 No. 10, pp. 3006-3025. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2017-0231

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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