02:23am Tuesday 14 July 2020

Better Use of Lighting in Hospital Rooms May Improve Patients’ Health

Most people will say that they feel better on a sunny day rather than a cloudy day, and researchers have found that when we are exposed to brighter light during the day—such as natural sunlight—our mood is better and we sleep better. When patients are admitted to the hospital, they usually find themselves in a very different environment from what they are used to, and they don’t feel well or sleep well. Esther Bernhofer, PhD, RN, of the Cleveland Clinic, and her colleagues wondered whether the hospital lighting environment might contribute.

The team designed a study to determine if there are any relationships between hospital lighting, mood, sleep, and pain in hospitalized adults. Between May 2011 and April 2012, the investigators collected data from 23 women and 17 men admitted to a large academically affiliated US hospital. Over 72 hours, light exposure and sleep-wake patterns were continuously measured. Mood was measured daily using questionnaires, and perceived pain levels were determined from medical records.

The researchers found that hospitalized patients in the study were exposed primarily to low levels of light 24 hours per day, indicating a lack of the natural fluctuation between bright and low light required to help maintain normal sleep-wake patterns. Also, patients slept very poorly, and the less light patients were exposed to during the day, the more fatigued they felt. Finally, the more fatigued they felt, the more pain they experienced.

“It is important to note that these findings were preliminary and more research needs to be done to determine any possible clinical implications of enhancing the lighting environment for patients in the hospital,” said Dr. Bernhofer. “Future intervention studies should include investigating different ‘doses’ of light exposure for medical inpatients. Such research would determine if lighting interventions could offer unique, cost-effective ways to more effectively address the problems of sleep-wake disturbances, distressed mood, and pain in hospitalized patients, providing for overall better patient outcomes.”

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Full citation: “Hospital lighting and its association with sleep, mood, and pain in medical inpatients.” Esther I. Bernhofer, Patricia A. Higgins, Barbara J. Daly, Christopher J. Burant, and Thomas R. Hornick. Journal of Advanced Nursing; Published Online: November 4, 2013 (DOI: 10.1111/jan.12282).
URL: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/jan.12282

About the Author: Esther Bernhofer, PhD, RN, is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic.
To arrange an interview with the Author please contact Maureen Nagg, Manager of Corporate Communications at the Cleveland Clinic, at [email protected] or +1 (216) 636-5879 or [email protected], 216-445-5269.

About the Journal:
The Journal of Advanced Nursing (JAN) is a world-leading international peer reviewed Journal. It targets readers who are committed to advancing practice and professional development on the basis of new knowledge and evidence. JAN contributes to the advancement of evidence-based nursing, midwifery and healthcare by disseminating high quality research and scholarship of contemporary relevance and with potential to advance knowledge for practice, education, management or policy.
http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/JAN

About Wiley
Wiley is a global provider of content-enabled solutions that improve outcomes in research, education, and professional practice. Our core businesses produce scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising; professional books, subscription products, certification and training services and online applications; and education content and services including integrated online teaching and learning resources for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners.

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa, JWb), has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace. Wiley’s global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company’s website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.


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