Spaces and services in Dutch hospice care

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Palliative care improves quality of life of patients and relatives facing life-threatening illnesses; it places their needs central (WHO, 2015). It is however unknown if facility design in Dutch hospice care facilities fulfils these needs. This paper aims to establish if services and spaces of hospice care providers match with needs of users.
This explorative study includes a literature review on needs and supporting services and spaces, using evidence-based design and indoor-environment design literature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with caregivers and support staff.
Patients in the final stages of life need a last refuge that requires a higher standard when compared to regular healthcare environments. The spaces and service delivery processes at hospices seem to be optimal while in other (hospice) care settings users miss adequate spaces and services. In addition, management in care systems needs to reconfigure accordingly in order to offer flexible customisation e.g. allocation of staff. Several space and service requirements have been identified, like domesticity, lay-out, style of décor, space for loved ones, quiet, and personal artefacts.
Practical implications
The research findings will be used for follow-up research that will result in aligning the designs of spaces and services with needs of hospice care users.
The role of facility management in palliative care has rarely been studied. Current findings may be regarded as a starting point for further investigation in this area, allowing hospice care to improve its spaces and services in order to meet patients’ and relatives’ needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Papers: 15th EuroFM Research Symposium
EditorsS. Balslev Nielsen, P.A. Jensen
PublisherEuroFM: European Facility Management Network
ISBN (Print)9788750211020
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • facilities management
  • hospice care
  • services
  • space


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