Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Rashid, Mahbub PhD, RA
  2. Khan, Nayma PhD
  3. Jones, Belinda


This study compared physical and visual accessibilities and their associations with staff perception and interaction behaviors in 2 intensive care units (ICUs) with open-plan and racetrack layouts. For the study, physical and visual accessibilities were measured using the spatial analysis techniques of Space Syntax. Data on staff perception were collected from 81 clinicians using a questionnaire survey. The locations of 2233 interactions, and the location and length of another 339 interactions in these units were collected using systematic field observation techniques. According to the study, physical and visual accessibilities were different in the 2 ICUs, and clinicians' primary workspaces were physically and visually more accessible in the open-plan ICU. Physical and visual accessibilities affected how well clinicians' knew their peers and where their peers were located in these units. Physical and visual accessibilities also affected clinicians' perception of interaction and communication and of teamwork and collaboration in these units. Additionally, physical and visual accessibilities showed significant positive associations with interaction behaviors in these units, with the open-plan ICU showing stronger associations. However, physical accessibilities were less important than visual accessibilities in relation to interaction behaviors in these ICUs. The implications of these findings for ICU design are discussed.