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Music can reduce stress in your ED's waiting room
Adults bringing children to a pediatric ED waiting area were much less anxious when classical music was playing in the background, says a new study.1
"If there is any delay in bringing patients to the back, implementation of a music program in the waiting area may help to reduce the general anxiety levels of the patients and their families," says Lydia Holm, MD, the study's lead author and an attending physician in the pediatric ED at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, IA.
To do this in your ED is "not difficult," she says. "All that is required is a CD player with an appropriate number of speakers for your waiting area. We rotated five CDs of slow-paced concert music."
The only costs involved would be the stereo system, speakers, audio CDs, and installation, which totaled about $1,000, says Holm.
The study also tested the impact of aromatherapy, using two diffusers placed in strategic locations in the ED, but no difference in anxiety levels was detected. "I was a little surprised that the aromatherapy had no effect at all," she recalls. "I still think this was primarily an application problem: We had a continuous airflow recirculation system, so the scent may have been circulated away before it could have any effect. It does not mean that aromatherapy as a tool is ineffective."