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Assessing the supportiveness of healthcare environments’ light and color: Development and validation of the Light and Color Questionnaire (LCQ)

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journal contribution
posted on 03.06.2021, 00:52 by J Lindahl, H Thulesius, M Rask, H Wijk, David Edvardsson, C Elmqvist
Aim: The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a self-report instrument measuring patients’, family members’, and staff’s perceived support from light and color in the physical environment of an emergency department (ED)—the Light and Color Questionnaire (LCQ). Background: The physical care environment is an important part of a comprehensive caring approach in all levels of care not only for patients but also for family members and staff. However, no existing self-report questionnaire assessing the extent to which light and color are perceived as being supportive in the physical care environment from the users’ perspective was found. Method: The LCQ was developed as part of a pre–post study in which an ED serving 125,000 people was refurbished and remodeled using evidence-based design. The LCQ consists of six items for light and five items for color and assesses awareness/orientation, safety/security, functional abilities, privacy, personal control, and stimulation. The study was carried out in four steps: constructions of items, assessment of face validity, data collection, and data analysis. Result/Conclusion: Psychometric evaluation of the two versions, LCQ-Patient/Family member and LCQ-Staff, showed satisfactory content and internal validity (>90%) and high internal consistency (Cronbach’s coefficient α =.9) to support the use of the questionnaire for research and development purposes. Explorative factor analysis of a total of 600 questionnaire responses confirmed light and color as distinctive and independent dimensions creating perceptions of more or less supportiveness for respondents. The LCQ instrument may be useful for architects, administrators, and researchers of healthcare environments.


The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Region Kronoberg


Publication Date



Health Environments Research and Design Journal (HERD)





Article Number

ARTN 1937586720975209


15p. (p. 130-144)


SAGE Publishing



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