Music is served: How acoustic interventions in hospital dining environments can improve patient mealtime wellbeing

Signe Lund Mathiesen*, Lena Aadal, Morten Laulund Uldbæk, Peter Astrup, Derek Victor Byrne, Qian Janice Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Eating‐related challenges and discomforts arising from moderately acquired brain injuries (ABI)—including physiological and cognitive difficulties—can interfere with patients’ eating experience and impede the recovery process. At the same time, external environmental factors have been proven to be influential in our mealtime experience. This experimental pilot study investigates whether redesigning the sonic environment in hospital dining areas can positively influence ABI patients’ (n = 17) nutritional state and mealtime experience. Using a three‐phase between‐subjects interventional design, we investigate the effects of installing sound proofing materials and playing music during the lunch meals at a specialised ABI hospital unit. Comprising both quantitative and qualitative research approaches and data acquisition methods, this project provides multidiscipli-nary and holistic insights into the importance of attending to sound in hospital surroundings. Our results demonstrate that improved acoustics and music playback during lunch meals might improve the mealtime atmosphere, the patient well‐being, and social interaction, which potentially supports patient food intake and nutritional state. The results are discussed in terms of potential future implications for the healthcare sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2590
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • ABI patients
  • Eating experiences
  • Environmental factors
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Mealtime wellbeing
  • Multisensory
  • Music intervention
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sound


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