'You feel a little healthier' : evaluating the use and meaning of the rooftop terrace at Sunnaas hospital, Norway
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- Master's theses (ILP) 
The objective of this study is to evaluate how patients, staff and visitors use the rooftop terrace at Sunnaas hospital, and to investigate the significance of the terrace for stroke patients’ well-being and rehabilitation. Being in a hospital is for many a difficult experience, representing a transition from normal life and a threatening to well-being. Hospital gardens have shown to have positive influence on patients’ well-being and recovery, through e.g. being a pleasant environment and a place for engaging in enjoyable occupations. Hospital gardens can also supplement patients’ rehabilitation. This study has a qualitative design. Observations were carried out on the terrace in order to find out how the terrace was used. Semi-structured interviews with five stroke patients were carried out to explore the meaning of the terrace. The attempt was to obtain both descriptive and more phenomenological data. It was found that terrace had many visitors and that numerous activities were undertaken there. The five most frequently observed activities were: socializing, looking at the view, eating, drinking coffee and smoking. Socializing and looking at the view were popular activities among the informants too. The informants found the transition to being in hospital big. They had different experience with using the terrace. Most of them felt more light minded or happier when using it. Different atmosphere and fresh air were two of the descriptions that they used. Some thought it had significance for their stay in hospital, saying it had helped them and made the stay easier. The terrace is a popular placed used by many for different purposes. The main impression is that the terrace is a social and relaxing place. Recognized limitations for patients’ well-being were stress and mental fatigue, as well as loss of control, loss of occupations and loss of place. The terrace is of significance for its users through being a possible place to escape to, being a familiar and nice place, where valuable and enjoyable occupations are undertaken. This influences patients’ well-being and recovery.