Exploring positive hospital ward soundscape interventions.
Appl Ergon. 2014 Nov;45(6):1454-60
Authors: Mackrill J, Jennings P, Cain R
Sound is often considered as a negative aspect of an environment that needs mitigating, particularly in hospitals. It is worthwhile however, to consider how subjective responses to hospital sounds can be made more positive. The authors identified natural sound, steady state sound and written sound source information as having the potential to do this. Listening evaluations were conducted with 24 participants who rated their emotional (Relaxation) and cognitive (Interest and Understanding) response to a variety of hospital ward soundscape clips across these three interventions. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed that the 'Relaxation' response was significantly affected (n(2) = 0.05, p = 0.001) by the interventions with natural sound producing a 10.1% more positive response. Most interestingly, written sound source information produced a 4.7% positive change in response. The authors conclude that exploring different ways to improve the sounds of a hospital offers subjective benefits that move beyond sound level reduction. This is an area for future work to focus upon in an effort to achieve more positively experienced hospital soundscapes and environments.
PMID: 24768090 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]