Undergraduate Research Dispatch: Jahara Cayabyab on Designing Hospital Spaces

20 Oct, 2021

Undergraduate Research Dispatch: Jahara Cayabyab on Designing Hospital Spaces

BCNM's undergraduate research fellowship program connects undergraduate students with BCNM graduates for an opportunity to engage in direct research experience. Jahara Cayabyab was an Undergraduate Research Fellow under Haripriya Sathyanarayanan last year to research hospital design, specifically in pediatric spaces. Read about their experience below:

This semester, I worked on research focusing on patient-centered design in the pediatric environment with Haripriya Sathyanarayanan, a Ph.D. candidate in the college of Architectural Design. I came into this project as a 4th year student with a major in Integrative Biology and previous experience coding in Rstudio, interviewing, and working with young kids. I have grown to have a keen interest in working with communities and public health. My interest drew me to this research project of using design to improve patient experience for pediatric patients.

One of the main objectives for this research project is to involve the pediatric patients in the design process of the hospital space. Oftentimes, children are not involved in this process as it can exert too much time and resources to do so. With that said, there are crucial aspects that may go amiss if the spaces being designed are not involving the patients using the space and may influence the care provided. Through surveys and interviews, we are able to include the children in the process.

Data collection and interviews are currently underway. What I primarily worked on was using Qualtrics to compile the survey questions and consent forms for study participants. I learned more about the Institutional Review Board application process that is necessary to have a research design approved. I assisted with amending the IRB application to include a hospital in India to the study design.

In terms of coding, I worked through a few expert interviews. I learned how to use MaxQDA, a qualitative coding program, to code interviews. Experts included doctors, nurses, researchers, and architects . It was exciting to learn how to perform qualitative coding. While I was coding the interviews, I was able to learn more about the design process of pediatric spaces. As someone with little experience in this field, it was extremely fascinating to dive deeper into hospital design. I noticed I overlooked many small details in previous hospital visits, and have definitely opened my eyes the next time I go on my doctor’s check up. Another interesting idea to think about is how COVID and technology can pave the way for the future in the ways in which it has impacted care delivery.

I am extremely grateful to Priya for being my mentor for the Berkeley Center for New Media fellowship. She has been extremely helpful and supportive throughout the process, especially since the terms and programs were initially unfamiliar to me. This was my first experience directly assisting a research project, and I greatly appreciate learning more about it from my mentor.