Why study healthcare acoustics?

The acoustic environment, or “soundscape” in hospitals and other medical facilities can be problematic. Beeping alarms, medical respirators, overhead paging systems, floor cleaners, and air-conditioning systems are just a few of the many noisy sources. Add patient distress sounds, speech, and activity noise from busy staff in a highly reverberant space, and the result is a dynamic soundscape that is far from restful. Indeed, there is growing evidence of the potential negative impacts of a poor soundscape on patient health and recovery, staff stress and communication, and visitor comfort.

We are currently studying several aspects of healthcare acoustics, including:

1) Improving ways to measure and characterize the soundscape

2) Determining the psychological & physiological responses of occupants to various aspects of the soundscape

3) Identifying and evaluating ways to improve the soundscape, such as through architectural design, surface material selection, and equipment noise control

Ultimately, we hope that our research facilitates change in the healthcare soundscape —

creating safer, healthier environments for patients, staff, and visitors.



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We are a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in acoustics, engineering, architecture, psychology, nursing, & medicine.


Some of our areas of specialty include architectural acoustics, noise control, acoustic instrumentation, human psychological / physiological responses to sound, evidence-based-design for hospitals, sustainable buildings, & statistics.


You can learn more about our team, research activities, & publications through this website.



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