Hospital Acoustics (06-12-20)

Research completed by Zhou, Wu, Meng, and Kang indicates that the acoustics in hospitals have a significant effect on stress experienced by patients.  The researchers share that “Patients in general wards are often exposed to excessive levels of noise and activity, and high levels of noise have been associated with depression and anxiety. Previous studies have found that an appropriate acoustic environment is beneficial to the patient's therapeutic and treatment process; however, the soundscape is rarely intentionally designed or operated to improve patient recovery, especially for psychological rehabilitation. . . . A digital three-dimensional model of a hospital room was constructed, and experimental subjects wore VR [virtual reality] glasses to visualize a real ward scene. . . . results show that music plays an important role in reducing stress as it can aid in a patient’s physiological (skin conduction levels) and psychological stress recovery. Furthermore, mechanical and anthropogenic sounds exert negative effects on a patient’s stress recovery. However, the effect is only limited to psychological stress indicators.”

Tianfu Zhou, Yue Wu, Qi Meng, and Jian Kang. “Influence of the Acoustic Environment in Hospital Wards on Patient Physiological and Psychological Indices.” Frontiers in Psychology, in press, doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01600