Assessing the impact of durable flooring structures on refugee sleep quality and duration

  • Thomas James Greene The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics, Houston, TX, USA
  • Christina Ann Chao Duke University Medical School, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Durham, NC, USA
Keywords: flooring, well-being, Lebanon, refugee, sleep duration, sleep quality


Conflict and persecution continue to displace people from their homes adding to an already overwhelming refugee crisis worldwide. Overall, refugee health is difficult to measure objectively and is influenced by a number of factors including transient, and often inadequate, housing conditions. Emergency Floor (EF) is a quickly deployable, lightweight, insulated flooring system intended to protect temporary structures from extreme temperatures and outdoor conditions. A pilot study was conducted in two informal tented settlements in Hermel-Baalbek, Lebanon to assess how installing Emergency Floors in tented shelters impacted sleep duration and quality, indicators of overall wellness, among refugees. A baseline survey was administered, and Emergency Floors were installed in all households in both settlements in October 2016. A follow-up survey was conducted to record outcomes in April 2017. Thirty-four households consisting of 150 individuals participated in the baseline survey. Seven households were were not available for follow-up survey due to moving away from the area. The final sample yielded a total of 27 households and 120 individuals. Results indicated that sleep duration significantly increased, and sleep quality significantly improved after EF installation. Furthermore, respondents reported feeling more comfortable, warmer, safer, and cleaner when sleeping in a shelter with EF installed. These encouraging results suggest an overall increase in perceived well-being. Future research should continue monitoring floors to assess long term wear and explore additional uses for EF in other temporary structures.

Author Biography

Christina Ann Chao, Duke University Medical School, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Durham, NC, USA
Duke University Medical School, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Durham, NC, USA


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