Comprehensibility of Universal Healthcare Symbols for Wayfinding in Healthcare Facilities

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Applied Ergonomics




Healthcare facilities are often complex and overwhelming for visitors, and wayfinding in healthcare facilities can be challenging. As there is an increasing number of global citizens who travel to seek medical care in another country, it is critical to make wayfinding easy for visitors who are not familiar with the language in a foreign country. Among many wayfinding aids, symbols are helpful for those visitors who have limited ability to understand written language. This study tested universal healthcare symbols in the United States, South Korea, and Turkey to compare the comprehension of symbols cross-country and identify predictors of the correct comprehension. To explore statistically significant relationships between symbol comprehension and countries, Pearson's Chi-square tests, logistic regression, and ANOVA were conducted. The test results showed that ten symbols among 14 tested have significant relationship with countries. Results of this study demonstrate that symbol comprehension can be varied significantly in different countries.


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