Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Yasmin Landa

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Winter 2022

Research Project: The Effects of Inpatient Psychiatric Socio-Physical Experience on Posthospitalization Treatment

Project Description: The deinstitutionalization of massive psychiatric hospitals in the 1970s and 1980s improved the physical and social environment of psychiatric hospitals and aided in the transition away from prison-like hospitals. Still, there remains opportunities for growth if the psychiatry field aims to engage and provide patients with a fully therapeutic setting in psychiatric hospitals. This research explores the relationship between a patient’s social and physical experience in a psychiatric hospital and their engagement with mental health treatment after discharge. I analyze the physical environment of a psychiatric unit and explore mental health professionals’ views on guidelines for maintaining a therapeutic environment in these spaces.

Using qualitative methodology, including ethnographic observations of psychiatric hospitals in the Seattle area, photographs, and interviews, I discuss the environmental factors of psychiatric rooms through the evaluation of room design and its effectiveness in creating a therapeutic environment. Preliminary findings point to a possible relationship between consent and a patient’s receptivity to post-hospitalization treatment after being exposed to the psychiatric hospitalization environment. Additional results could indicate a negative relationship between a patient’s socio-physical experience in an inpatient psychiatric facility and their engagement in future treatment after discharge. These research findings will enable mental health providers to better understand the relationship of socio-physical aspects in psychiatric hospitals to the continuation of a patient’s treatment after discharge. This information will help providers improve upon these experiences and increase a patient’s receptivity to post-hospitalization treatment.

What have you learned throughout your research project?

My research project has given me the opportunity to improve upon and develop new research skills. It’s taught me the importance and impact of researching the world around us, so that we may continue to strive for a better world.

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Don’t be afraid to reach out. All do the work I’ve done as a researcher has been through overcoming the fear of reaching out to incredible professors and mentors for help or guidance.