Naval Study Finds C.A.R.E. Programming Positively Impacts the Waiting Room Experience

hospital waiting areasMay 5, 2017 — A study conducted by The Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMSD) found that military mental health outpatients are positively impacted by C.A.R.E. music and nature programming on televisions in the waiting room.

Researchers assessed patient perceived “pleasantness” of different waiting room environments. The control group was exposed to daytime television. Using C.A.R.E. Select units plugged into TVs, the experimental group was exposed to relaxing music and nature programming. They found that the median pleasantness score was statistically significantly higher in the experimental group.

“This study is the first to look at the combined effect of music and nature imagery on patients in waiting areas,” said Haydn Bertelson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, HHS. “We aren’t surprised by the positive results because we’ve heard similar feedback from patients and staff for 25 years.”

“But we are pleased that there is now quantitative and qualitative research to support our anecdotal evidence and are grateful to the U.S. Navy for the opportunity to participate in this research,” she added.

The study, which is published in the April 2017 issue of Music & Medicine, also found that patients in the control group were more likely to comment on the physical characteristics of the waiting room (“small,” “standard,” “empty”), whereas patients in the experimental group were more likely to use emotional descriptors to describe the waiting experience (“comforting,” “peaceful,” “settling and calm”).

Encouraged by the findings, the researchers recommend that further work be done to find out which types of patients benefit most from music and nature programming in healthcare environments, such as those with PSTD, anxiety, depression, or other types of psychiatric disorders common to the military experience.

By entering into an agreement with Healing HealthCare Systems (HHS) to provide the C.A.R.E. Select units, NMCSD is not directly or indirectly endorsing any product or service provided, or to be provided, by HHS, its successors, assignees, or licensees.

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