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Benefits of a slideshow with nature pictures and music in the emergency department waiting room - a pilot study

Carina Elmqvist, Jeanette Lindahl, Paula Bergman, Birgitta Ekeberg, Idor Svensson


Background: It is well recognized that long waiting times at Emergency Departments (ED) influence patient satisfaction rates. Evidence suggests that changes in the design of healthcare environments can improve patient care when these changes include the provision of nature and music elements in different ways.

Aim: To explore how patients, relatives and staff perceive a slideshow with nature pictures and music in the emergency department waiting room.

Method: A descriptive survey design including a slideshow with nature pictures and music shown in the waiting room. Questionnaires were distributed to patients and relatives (n=94) as well as to the staff (n=76), analysed with descriptive statistics and content analysis.

Results: A majority (67%) of the participants thought that the slideshow contributed to a positive environment in the waiting room. Content analysis of 254 comments demonstrated it to be experienced as relaxing and calming. There is, however, room for improvement regarding quality, length and variation of the slideshow.

Conclusion: An organized wait time with different alternative activities including nature elements and music in the waiting environment may have positive impacts. The challenge lies in creating a supportive design, which supports the three separate groups and their needs for control in terms of freedom of choice and variation.


Caring environment, emergency department, music, nature pictures, patient choice, patient experience, patient outcomes, patients, person-centered healthcare, quality improvement, relatives, slideshow, staff, stress management, waiting room, wellbeing

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