Document Type

Honors Paper


Ann Devlin

Publication Date



The purpose of this study is to understand the main features and design elements that are favored in a psychotherapy waiting room setting. The study investigated a sample of 20 psychotherapy waiting rooms in Southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as the positive and negative factors that contributed to comfort and quality of care ratings made by the participants. There were two parts to this study. In the first part, 12 psychotherapists in southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island agreed to be interviewed and have the waiting rooms (20 in total) of their practices photographed. In a within-subjects design, the second part of the study recruited 225 participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk to answer a series of questions about these 20 waiting rooms. Factor analytic results showed that waiting rooms that were more welcoming and comfortable as well as large and spacious were rated higher on the quality of care and comfort in the environment anticipated by the participant. Additionally, waiting rooms that were cramped and crowded rated low on perceived quality and comfort of the waiting room. There has been little research conducted on psychotherapy waiting rooms. The findings of the current study show that practitioners could benefit from understanding the qualities of the waiting room environment that users prefer. This research, therefore, can be used to inform the design of psychotherapy waiting rooms to enhance healthcare experience.

Included in

Psychology Commons



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.