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Research Snapshot: How staff feel about their client-centered clinics

April 5, 2013

Many clinics have redesigned their physical spaces to better suit the needs of their clients, but we don’t know much about the effect this approach has on the service providers.

To better understand staff experiences of the newly redesigned clinics, Ontario researchers conducted focus groups with clinicians in two mental health and addiction programs at a large urban hospital in Ontario. The staff clinicians answered questions about their expectations, perceptions, and experiences of the redesign before and after the renovations took place. The researchers also observed the clinicians as they worked to get a sense of the team dynamics after the renovations.

Results showed that the clinicians felt the redesign led to better support for clients’ recovery and less stigma, more teamwork, and better relationships with clients. However staff also felt that the redesign resulted in some challenges: 1) they found it more difficult to monitor clients and respond quickly to emergencies; 2) it was harder to maintain client confidentiality; and 3) there was no room for them to complete confidential forms, for storage, and for socializing and recharging while on shift. Staff also cited concerns that they were not involved in the design and planning process for the redesign.

You can read this Research Snapshot, “Client-Centred Design of Residential Addiction and Mental Health Care Facilities: Staff Perceptions of Their Work Environment” on the EENet website.

Research Snapshots are brief, clear language summaries of research, presented in a user-friendly format. To read EENet’s clear language summary of this research, and others, visit

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