Sensory Environment on Health-Related Outcomes of Hospital Patients

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Amy Drahota Derek Ward Heather Mackenzie Rebecca Stores Bernie Higgins Diane Gal Taraneh P Dean

Music may improve patient-reported outcomes in certain circumstances, so support for this relatively inexpensive intervention may be justified.



Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews


Overall, 102 studies have been included in this review. Interventions explored were: ‘positive distracters’, to include aromas (two studies), audiovisual distractions (five studies), decoration (one study), and music (85 studies); interventions to reduce environmental stressors through physical changes, to include air quality (three studies), bedroom type (one study), flooring (two studies), furniture and furnishings (one study), lighting (one study), and temperature (one study); and multifaceted interventions (two studies). We did not find any studies meeting the inclusion criteria to evaluate: art, access to nature for example, through hospital gardens, atriums, flowers, and plants, ceilings, interventions to reduce hospital noise, patient controls, technologies, way-finding aids, or the provision of windows. Overall, it appears that music may improve patient-reported outcomes such as anxiety; however, the benefit for physiological outcomes, and medication consumption has less support. There are few studies to support or refute the implementation of physical changes, and except for air quality, the included studies demonstrated that physical changes to the hospital environment at least did no harm.

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The Effect of Music-Induced Mood on Aggressive Affect, Cognition, and Behavior
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
2012 February
The more positive the music-induced mood, the less anger was experienced and aggressive behavior was shown after provocation.
The present study examined whether the valence of perceived emotions would differentially influence EEG power spectra and heart rate (HR).
The Effects of Music on Atmosphere in a Bank and a Bar
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
2000 July
This study found a positive correlation between ratings of the listening environment and ratings of the music.