Operating rooms that are too noisy are just as difficult to work in as offices where ambient noise is too loud. Bush, Way, Long, Weighing, Ritchie, Jones, and Shinn investigated working in operating rooms: “Ambient background noise—whether it is the sound of loud surgical equipment, talkative team members, or music—is a patient and surgical safety factor that can affect auditory processing among surgeons and the members of their team in the operating room (OR) . . . .
Researchers at Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center have found that exposing people to reddish light during the “post-lunch dip” can be advantageous. The “dip” is generally from 2 to 4 in the afternoon or 16-18 hours after bedtime the previous night. Mariana Figueiro and Levent Sahin conducted a study whose “results suggest that red light positively affects measures of alertness not only at night, but also during the day . . .
Flooring influences people's impressions of a facility.
Devlin and her research team begin by observing that “Multicultural sensitivity is important in clinical practice, yet we know little about how the physical environment projects this quality.” The researchers learned that “a therapist whose office included art and artifacts from a variety of cultures (e.g., through textiles, sculptures) was judged to be more open to multiculturalism than was the therapist whose office displayed objects from a tradition that could be categorized as more western.
New research suggests that people developing spaces that will be used by autistic people, for example, as classrooms, should insure that those areas are pet friendly. This might mean that there are places nearby for animals to stretch their legs or that the design supports small animals and their cages, perhaps through in-room water faucets.
Silvis reports information shared by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality linking particular healthcare design decisions to quality of care provided. For example: “To reduce the need to sedate its young patients, the radiology department at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC introduced a program that uses various techniques to distract and engage patients, including theme-based room designs (such as a beach room, where walls feature a boardwalk and beach scenes, an oxygen tank looks like a scuba tank, and a linear accelerator is disguised as a sandca
A Swedish study has empirically linked stress and hypersensitivity to sounds. Hasson, Theorell, Bergquist, and Canlon learned that “Women suffering from stress-related exhaustion exhibit hypersensitivity to sounds when exposed to stress.” During the study reported, men and women “between the ages of 23 and 71 with low, medium or high levels of 'emotional exhaustion' [experienced] five minutes of experimentally induced physical (hand in ice), mental (performance on a stress test) and social (being observed) stress.” Women participating in the study “
The Center for Health Design has related a new report on factors that contribute to patient falls in hospitals (“Contribution of the Designed Environment to Fall Risk in Hospitals”). The report, written by Margaret Calkins, Stacey Biddle, and Orion Biesan is available without charge at the web address noted below. Conclusions are derived from “Crosssectional analysis of 27 units in 12 hospitals using archival fall data” and “identified a number of design characteristics that were associated with greater or fewer falls, including visibility to staff work spaces,
Recent research has confirmed the importance of providing surgery patients with opportunities to hear soothing sounds during their procedures. A study reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology indicates “the use of an audio therapy known as binaural beats can significantly reduce patients' anxiety during cataract surgery . . . .
Research recently completed by the Interactive Autism Network and lead by Dr. Paul Law, indicates that nearly half, of children with autism wander – or run- out of their homes, schools, etc., “and more than half of these children go missing.”